Why Meghan Markle Brought Men Into Her Previously Women-Only Podcast

Even long before it was released, Meghan Markle's podcast caused major controversy. As with everything else the Duchess of Sussex does, she was consistently criticized at every turn. Royal expert Angela Levin alleged to The U.S. Sun that Meghan wasn't conducting interviews for the show personally, instead instructing a producer to do them on her behalf. "She wants all these famous women to talk to her to prove to us she has all these connections, I don't think she is particularly interested," Levin opined. "You can tell she has got the producers to interview [and then] the cheek of her to just tell us about herself." 

It didn't help that the podcast took quite a while to materialize, with Meghan unexpectedly finding herself in hot water with Spotify as a result, after she sat down with feminist icon Gloria Steinem for Vogue, rather than saving their chat for what would become "Archetypes." As royal expert Kinsey Schofield railed on Twitter: "The entire world has been waiting for this woman to drop a podcast that promises to 'dissect, explore and subvert the labels that try to hold women back' and she took THIS conversation to Vogue? If I were Spotify or Netflix, I would be pulling my hair out," (via Newsweek).

Over the course of her debut season, the former "Suits" star sat down with the likes of Mariah Carey, Serena Williams, and Paris Hilton. But, for her big finale, Meghan turned the microphone over to men for the first time. 

The Duchess of Sussex wanted to widen the conversation

For the final episode of "Archetypes" Season 1, Meghan Markle opened the floor up to three men. Namely, Trevor Noah, Andy Cohen, and Judd Apatow were invited on for a rousing discussion about the numerous ways in which women are held back. "Man-ifesting A Cultural Shift" found the Duchess of Sussex introducing male voices to the conversation for the very first time — something she acknowledged was actually Prince Harry's idea.

"If you've been listening to the past eleven episodes, you may have noticed that you haven't heard many men's voices," Meghan began. "In fact, until now outside of a quick pop-in, from my husband, in the first episode, this show has featured exclusively women's voices. And that's by design; it was important to us that women have a space to share their authentic and complicated, complex and dynamic experiences to be heard. And to be understood."

However, Meghan took Harry's advice because, "If we really want to shift how we think about gender and the limiting labels that we separate people into, then we have to broaden the conversation." Hence, she asked Noah, Cohen, and Apatow to take part. According to Express, "Archetypes" had a significant effect on male listeners, if nothing else. One shared how he didn't realize his own part in reinforcing damaging stereotypes before listening.

The Daily Mail reports it's unknown whether the podcast will return for a second season but, clearly, Meghan has made her mark.