British YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners pranked four royal commentators into reviewing Oprah’s highly anticipated interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry before they had even seen it. The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, the editor of the prestigious Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward, and British television darlings Richard Fitzwilliams and Victoria Arbiter were all paid to give comments they were told would run immediately after the show airs in the U.S. Sunday night and the U.K. Monday morning. But the pranksters ran the clips ahead of time to scathing effect.
“In the interview, to my mind, this was an actress giving one of her great performances. From start to finish, Meghan was acting,” Seward said in the YouTube video despite not having seen the interview yet. Fitzwilliams, meanwhile, said Oprah “gave them an easy ride. She was totally sympathetic, and there was a great deal in it that the palace will find deeply concerning.” (He later played defense on Twitter.)
Manners said the purpose of the prank was for the public to “look at these commentators who are shaping public opinion, and it’s up to viewers to decide whether they are qualified to share that opinion.” He added, “And perhaps this video puts a different perspective into what these people are doing for money.”