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Meghan-backed report finds gaps in portrayals of mothers on TV

A report into the portrayal of mothers in television which was supported by the Duchess of Sussex has been published.

Meghan and her Archewell Foundation were credited with supporting the report released on Thursday ahead of International Women’s Day, which called on the industry to “more fully develop the characterisation of motherhood”.

The report, titled Rewriting Motherhood: How TV Represents Moms and What We Want To See Next, looked at scripted television programs from 2022 that featured mothers.

It comes as the duchess is set to appear as a panellist for a discussion about women in the media and entertainment industries at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, on Friday.

Speaking about the report, Meghan said: “My past experience as an actress, and now today as a producer and mother, have amplified my belief in the critical importance of supporting women and moms both behind the lens and in front of it.

“This report about the portrayal of mothers in entertainment highlights the gaps we need to fill to achieve true representation in the content we create and consume, and I’m honoured to support this work through the Archewell Foundation.”

Meghan appeared in a series of TV acting roles before her 2018 marriage to Harry, the Duke of Sussex, with her most well-known role being Rachel Zane in the American legal drama, Suits.

She is a mother herself to two children with Harry, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, and the family lives in California.

Some of the findings in the report included that TV mothers did not seem to have the same concerns about their physical appearance as those in real life.

Another said everyday sacrifices made by mothers for their children were often missing from their depictions on TV.

The other collaborators on the report were Moms First and the Geena Davis Institute.

The Archewell Foundation, a non-profit organisation, was co-founded by the duke and duchess in 2020.

Last month, the couple launched their new website “Sussex.com”, which stated: “The Office of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is shaping the future through business and philanthropy.

“This includes: the Archewell Foundation, Archewell Productions, patronages, ventures, and organisations which receive the support of the couple, individually and/or together.”