Meghan Markle's best friend has show axed amid white privilege row

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
TORONTO, ON - MAY 31:  Actress Meghan Markle and Jessica Mulroney attend the Instagram Dinner held at the MARS Discovery District on May 31, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Meghan Markle and Jessica Mulroney in Toronto in 2016. (WireImage)

Jessica Mulroney, the close friend of Meghan Markle, has had her TV show axed amid a row about white privilege.

Canadian fashion stylist Mulroney has said she is “stepping back” from social media after an argument with Sasha Exeter, a black influencer who accused her of “textbook white privilege”.

And CTV, the network which ran Mulroney’s show I Do Redo has announced it has pulled the show because of her “recent conduct… conflicts with our commitment to diversity and equality”.

Exeter posted a 12-minute long video to Instagram claiming Mulroney “took offence” to her call to action for people to join the Black Lives Matter movement.

Exeter said: “What happened next was a series of very problematic behaviour and antics that ultimately resulted in her (Mulroney) sending me a threat in writing last Wednesday.”

She told her 82,000 Instagram followers that Mulroney’s threat was “textbook white privilege”.

Exeter claimed the letter from Mulroney read: “I have also spoken to companies and people about the way you have treated me unfairly.

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 22:  Jessica Mulroney and actress Meghan Markle attend the World Vision event held at Lumas Gallery on March 22, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Jessica Mulroney and Meghan Markle at a World Vision event in 2016. (WireImage)

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“You think your voice matters. Well, it only matters if you express it with kindness and without shaming people who are simply trying to learn. Good luck.”

Exeter said she had been left confused about Mulroney’s refusal to use her platform for the Black Lives Matter movement, adding that she was “very vocal” about other causes.

And Exeter pointed out Mulroney’s best friend is “arguably one of the most famous black women in the world”.

Mulroney was in Meghan’s wedding to the Duke of Sussex in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

The Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle's friend, Canadian fashion stylist Jessica Mulroney (second left) holds bridesmaids hands as they arrive for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. (Photo by Ben Stansall/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jessica Mulroney with the bridesmaids at Harry and Meghan's wedding. (Getty Images)

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Mulroney apologised to Exeter on Thursday, and posted a comment on her video, which said: “As I told you privately, I have lived a very public and personal experience with my closest friend where race was front and centre. It was deeply educational. I learned a lot from that.”

She also shared a reply with her 400,000 followers.

She wrote: “As some of you may have seen, @sashaexeter and I had a disagreement. She rightfully called me out for not doing enough when it came to engaging in the important and difficult conversation around race and injustice in our society.

“I took it personally and that was wrong. I know I need to do better. Those of us with a platform must use it to speak out.”

Of the threat she added: “I did not intend in any way to jeopardise her livelihood. We had a disagreement and it got out of hand. For that I am sorry.”

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 17:Sasha Exeter attends 'The Lion King' Canadian Premiere held at Scotiabank Theatre on July 17, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for Disney Studios)
Sasha Exeter was embroiled in a row over privilege with Meghan's friend Jessica Mulroney. (Getty Images for Disney Studios)

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She said she would be handing over her platform to black voices and stepping back from social media.

Mulroney added: “I plan to use this time to reflect, learn and listen. I have also asked Sasha if she would be willing to take over my account whenever she is comfortable and tell her story.

“The real work of bringing change goes beyond Instagram and I want you all to know that I’m committed to using every platform and resource available to me to continue the important work of anti-racism. I hope you will all continue to hold me accountable.”

Mulroney added another comment after her show was cancelled, saying: “I respect the decision of CTV and have decided to step away from my professional engagements at this time. I’m going to take this time to reflect, learn and focus on my family.

“I also want to take a moment to clarify I have no intention of pursuing any legal action. I was wrong and for that I am truly sorry.

“I remain more committed than ever to support anti-racism efforts and will do everything in my power to right this wrong.”

Mother-of-three Mulroney is thought to have met Meghan in Toronto, Canada, where the duchess was filming Suits.

The pair are understood to be close friends, with Mulroney appearing at Meghan’s wedding and arriving in the car with the bridesmaids to the chapel.

She was a frequent face on Meghan’s instagram account before it was closed down as news of her relationship with Harry emerged.

Meghan spoke to her former high school last week about race relations when she addressed the graduating class in a virtual ceremony.