Meghan Markle calls out How I Met Your Mother for stereotyping ‘crazy women’ in new podcast

Meghan Markle calls out How I Met Your Mother for stereotyping ‘crazy women’ in new podcast

The Duchess of Sussex has called out hit TV series How I Met Your Mother(HIMYM) for contributing to stereotypes about “crazy” women in the latest episode of her podcast.

The latest addition to Archetypes sees Meghan Markle discussing the “label” projected on women with Constance Wu, Jenny Slate and Deepika Padukone.

The podcast also singled out right-wing professor Jordan Peterson and another popular US TV show, Scrubs, for perpetuating the stereotype.

Introducing the new episode, Meghan says: “Raise your hand if you’ve ever been called ‘crazy’ or ‘hysterical’, ‘nuts’, ‘out of your mind’, ‘completely irrational’.

“If we were all in the same room and could see each other, I think it’d be pretty easy to see just how many of you out there have your hands up. By the way, me too.”

To demonstrate “how prevalent” the label is in popular culture, the duchess played a series of clips.

In one clip, HIMYM character Barney, played by Neil Patrick Harris, says: “A girl is allowed to be crazy, as long as she is equally hot. Thus, if she is this crazy, she has to be this hot.”

Another clip comes from Peterson, in which he says: “I don’t think that men can control crazy women.”

A third, from Scrubs, hears the character Elliot, played by Sarah Chalke, saying: “I can’t take it, Carla! I cannot hide the crazy a minute longer! I’m just this big mountain of cuckoo is about to erupt and spew molten crazy all over him and he’s gonna die like this.”

Later in the podcast, Slate says the label of “hysteria and craziness” is “a definition created by a man”, adding: “It is a definition meant to shame and limit a certain type of experience.”

Meghan follows up by saying: “That ‘experience’ – let’s just call it what it is: emotions… Scared, sad, angry, stressed, jealous, surprised, worried, insecure. Take your pick.

“Calling someone ‘crazy’ or ‘hysterical’ completely dismisses their experience, it minimises what they’re feeling. It doesn’t stop there, it keeps going, to the point where anyone who’s been labelled it enough times can be gaslit into thinking they’re actually unwell… to the point where real issues of all kinds get ignored.”

Hysteria has been historically linked to women, with Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, designating it an exclusively female disease.

A diagnosis of hysteria used to be attributed only to women, who were routinely punished or prescribed non-medical cures like sex or herbs until around the 20th century, when studies found it was not an ailment suffered only by women.

However, stereotypes about women being “hysterical” prevail in modern times, in part due to popular culture, as well as society, Meghan says.

“The use of these labels has been drilled into us from movies and TV, from friends and family, and even from random strangers,” she adds. “And the fact is, no one wants this label.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Wu opened up about receiving a DM from an Asian actor who told her she was a “disgrace” to her race for appearing to be “ungrateful” for the renewal of the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat in 2019.

The Hustlers star told the duchess that, despite the DM making her feel “like I didn’t deserve to be alive anymore”, she has forgiven the unnamed “colleague”.

Archetypes is available to listen to on Spotify.