Mike Hosking under fire after calling Meghan Markle a 'bandwagon-riding hussy'

Mike Hosking called the Duchess of Sussex a "bandwagon-riding hussy".
Mike Hosking called the Duchess of Sussex a "bandwagon-riding hussy". Photo credit: Getty / TVNZ

Mike Hosking has come under fire on social media after making a controversial comment about Meghan Markle ahead of her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Hosking called the Duchess of Sussex a "bandwagon-riding hussy" in Newstalk ZB's breakfast show last Thursday.

The term "hussy" is a derogatory term used to describe a girl or woman who behaves in a "disrespectful or inappropriate way", or who engages in multiple "casual sexual relationships".

Hosking also labelled the Duchess of Sussex as "shallow" and "attention-seeking" - and claims "we're better off without her".

His comments, which have been widely-circulated on social media following Harry and Meghan's broadcast, hit people hard.

During the interview, broadcasted in New Zealand on Tuesday, the Duchess opened up about her experiences with depression and suicidal thoughts.

"I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought," she told Winfrey.

Markle has been praised on social media for helping to evolve the stigma around mental illness by publicly speaking up about her battles.

"Meghan won't see you commenting that you don't believe she was suicidal, but your friends who have been suicidal will," one user wrote in a widely-shared tweet.

Hosking's comments subsequently sparked concerns, the Newstalk ZB host drawing comparisons to broadcaster Piers Morgan, who quit Good morning Britain on the back of his widely-panned comments regarding the Duchess, 

"Who even uses the word 'hussy' any more? Hosking is ridiculous. He's no different to Piers Morgan, an overpaid misogynist man baby," one Twitter user wrote.

"I had no idea he had the ability to get more unlikeable than he already was," another commented.

"This is not journalism, it's abuse."

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern decided to cancel her weekly interview slot with Hosking, claiming it was due to changes in her schedule.

On Tuesday, Hosking's wife Kate Hawkesby wrote an opinion piece for the NZ Herald comparing Markle to our own PM.

"Meghan Markle and Jacinda Ardern have something in common," she wrote.

"[They're] both trying to control the narrative."

Hawkesby claimed Markle chose to "publically set off a trans-Atlantic nuclear bomb" instead of privately dealing with family matters, while claiming Ardern is "not a fan of bad press, or hard questions".

However, Hawkesby wrote that she doesn't "begrudge" Markle for adopting a "no-speak policy" to unfavourable media outlets. 

"Because she doesn't actually owe us anything - we didn't vote her in," she said. 

NZME has not yet replied to a request for comment at time of publication.