Harry, Meghan labelled 'grifters' by Spotify executive after $32 million podcast Archetypes axed

Harry and Meghan have been labelled "grifters" by a Spotify executive.
Harry and Meghan have been labelled "grifters" by a Spotify executive. Photo credit: Getty Images

Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle have been labelled "f***ing grifters" by Spotify executive Bill Simmons days after their one-season podcast Archetypes was axed by the streaming service.

On Friday, Spotify and the Sussexes' audio production company Archewell Audio released a joint statement that announced they had "mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together". 

Only one season of Meghan's podcast Archetypes was produced at just 13 episodes long.

However, Simmons - the head of Podcast Innovation and Monetisation at Spotify - slammed the pair in an episode of his own podcast.

"The f***ing grifters. That's the podcast we should have launched with them," he said. "I've got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It's one of my best stories."

Simmons has been a long-time critic of the Duke and Duchess: in January 2022 he hit out at the former royals, saying he was "so tired" of Harry's "whining". 

"Shoot this guy to the sun," Simmons said at the time, according to sports website The Big Lead. "I'm so tired of this guy. What does he bring to the table? He just whines about shit and keeps giving interviews. 

"Who gives a shit? Who cares about your life? 

"You weren't even the favourite son. You live in f****** Montecito and you just sell documentaries and podcasts and nobody cares what you have to say about anything unless you talk about the royal family and you just complain about them."

Insiders claimed the royal couple did not meet the "productivity benchmark" required to receive the full payout, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Meanwhile, Netflix bosses reportedly feel that Meghan "lives in her own bubble" and does not appear to have "grasped the economic reality", meaning any association with the streamer, which has struggled with revenue, may be in danger of ending.

"There is a less friendly attitude from some at the top. The feeling is that the lemon has been fully squeezed," a source said to UK tabloid The Sun on Sunday.

"The big bucks Harry and Meghan signed on for do not exist today."

The pair's reported US $150 million Netflix deal, believed to be paid in instalments, was first announced in 2020.