Whoopi Goldberg and ‘RHOA’ alum Claudia Jordan question Meghan Markle’s ‘Deal or No Deal’ claims
Whoopi Goldberg and ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ alum Claudia Jordan have called out Meghan Markle over her claims of feeling “objectified” during her time as a briefcase model on “Deal or No Deal.”
The 66-year-old talk show host and the 49-year-old former No.1 briefcase model questioned Markle, 41, after the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she felt conflicted about her experience on the show during an episode of her podcast “Archetypes”. Markle said she eventually quit after feeling “forced to be all looks and little substance.”
“On that show, you basically had a suitcase and they wanted to know: ‘Is this the deal you want, or is this not the deal you want?'” Goldberg said to her co-hosts during Wednesday’s episode of “The View.”
“I don’t know that the people who are sitting there are thinking about you like that,” she added. “They’re thinking I want the money.”
Goldberg referenced longtime “Wheel of Fortune” hostess Vanna White, who she said is “always in something interesting and beautiful, and she’s been doing this. The objectification might be coming from you and how you felt about how these women were being portrayed, and that’s what you have to change because we’re performers. When you’re a performer, you take the gig.”
The “Sister Act” star went on to say, “We’re not journalists, we’re actors. And you left, and that was your prerogative. But I feel bad because I don’t think people were looking at these girls like this, I think people wanted the money.”
As the panel weighed in on Markle’s comments, Goldberg noted,”That’s TV, baby. But, what did you think you were going to? You know that’s what the show was.”
Markle reflected her stint as a briefcase model while discussing the archetype of “The Bimbo” with guest Paris Hilton. She said, “I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there.”
“And I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach, knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance. And that’s how it felt for me at the time, being reduced to this specific archetype.”
Jordan took to her Instagram Stories to dispute Markle’s claims that the women on the show were treated like “bimbos.”
“For clarity — yes getting a MODELING GIG on a game show isn’t necessarily about your intellect BUT every show the executive producers picked 5 models with the most outgoing and fun personalities to place mics on who they KNEW would engage with the contestants,” she wrote.
“Deal or No Deal NEVER treated us like bimbos. We got so many opportunities because of that show, Fremantle and @nbc,” Jordan added in her next post.
“That’s the kind of opportunity that IS what you make it. If you just show up and don’t engage — then you’ll check and not get much out of it — but if you show up and seize your moments… Then there’s no limits to what you can do with the opportunity.”
The television personality explained that she enjoyed her experience working on “Deal or No Deal”, which she said helped advance her career.
“It was a step on the ladder I’ve been ascending on for 25 years that paid all my bills, put me in front of 13 million+ people/ night, and led to me getting… On Celebrity Apprentice, Celebrity Apprentice All Stars, Breast cancer awareness campaign, guest hosting Extra, getting into People Magazine’s 100 most Beautiful issue and SO MUCH more.”
She added, “Oh I almost forgot… it ALSO led to me Co-HOSTING the 2009 Miss Universe pageant with @billybush in front of half a BILLION people. Not too shabby for a ‘bimbo’!”
The former Miss Rhode Island USA specified that her remarks were not meant as an “attack” on Markle but she wanted to clear up any “misunderstanding” over the way the women on the show were treated. She noted that she especially wanted to clarify any misconceptions regarding the show’s host Howie Mandel.
“This isn’t a [sic] attack on Meghan cause Lord knows I’ve been defending this woman in the media for years and I still WILL but I just didn’t want any misunderstanding about the climate and environment on the Deal or No Deal set,” she wrote. “And I’m especially protective of @howiemandel who was nothing but kind and respectful to ALL 26 of us.”
Jordan appeared on four seasons of “Deal or No Deal” during its run on NBC from 2005 to 2006. Markle was a briefcase model during the show’s second season in 2006.
In May, Mandel, 66, admitted that he had “absolutely no memory” of Markle from her time on the show, during an appearance on the TalkTV show “Uncensored with Piers Morgan.”
“I did not know her and I don’t remember her to this day,” he said. “But maybe that’s the beauty of it.”