Prince Harry’s surprise announcement yesterday that he is to partner with Oprah and exec produce a new mental health wellness show with her for Apple has been derided in some quarters, with detractors saying Harry is ill-qualified for such an important role in a major TV show, and is only there because of his name.
But Oprah hit back at those critics yesterday, telling fans waiting outside The Daily Show: “I don’t do anything halfway, so he’s a real partner, we’re real creators, making decisions about what will be aired and how it will be aired.”
Oprah and Harry have been working on the multi-part documentary series for several months and had a number of secret meetings in London as they planned it.
Harry said—in a buzz-word-rich statement—“I truly believe that good mental health—mental fitness—is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times.”
In an interview with CBS, Oprah said she pitched the idea to Prince Harry after asking him, “What do you think are the most important issues facing the world right now?”
Harry replied that he thought they were climate change and “mental wellness, mental fitness and mental health.”
Oprah, a guest at Harry’s wedding last May, dropped that she was “doing this thing with Apple” and asked him to partner on the project.
In 2017, Harry told an interviewer: “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well. I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”