Stephen A. Smith

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on planet Earth that cares less about the royal family than Stephen A. Smith.

On the latest episode of his The Stephen A. Smith Show Audacy/Cadence 13 podcast, Smith said he “really didn’t give a damn” about the royal family.

“Princess Diana seemed like a very, very nice lady,” Smith said unprompted. “I’m very, very sorry that she passed away in a car accident years ago when the paparazzi was chasing her. I mean, you couldn’t miss that story. You couldn’t watch anything else on television, it took up all the airwaves. But God bless her soul. 

“Queen Elizabeth, y’all go ahead and celebrate her. But if you’re a Black person, particularly with immigrant parents like myself, you’ve got a different lens that you view history when it comes to the royal family than say some of these folks fawning over them in the United States of America. But that’s neither here nor there, I’ll let Piers Morgan tell you all about that stuff; I like him by the way.”

But Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, piques Smith’s interest because he used to love her hit TV show, Suits. Smith mistakenly referred to Markle as the “Princess of Sussex” before being corrected by his assistant.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know this stuff, OK?”

Now you may be asking yourself where this particular rant is going, but there is a method to Smith’s madness. Smith weighed in on the ongoing saga between Spotify and Prince Harry and Meghan after The Ringer’s Bill Simmons referred to them as “’****ing grifters” on one of the more recent episodes of his The Bill Simmons Podcast.

Spotify is undergoing quite a time of change at the moment, including the exits of some of the company’s biggest names in the podcast space. The latest notable one there is a sudden “mutual” split with Archewell Audio, the company founded by Prince Harry and Meghan.

As for what Harry and Meghan did or did not do at Spotify before this parting, that’s worth some discussion. The initial deal there struck in 2020, was described as “a multiyear partnership with Spotify…to create podcasts and shows that would tell stories through diverse voices and perspectives.” The only actual podcast it had created by this point was Archetypes, hosted by Meghan.

That podcast debuted last August and put out 12 episodes from then to November, including interviews with everyone from Serena Williams to Judd Apatow.

Smith insisted that he could do 12 episodes in his sleep before making a fuss about the reported $20 million deal.

“Hell, you thought I was bad? Bill Simmons went off! Now, Bill Simmons is my contemporary, former colleague at ESPN…I like Bill,” Smith said. “I respect the hell out of Bill Simmons, ain’t no shade here. But Bill Simmons was going off…The Duchess of Sussex, along with Prince Harry, Bill Simmons seemed very happy they were gone.”

Smith then played the audio clip of Simmons’ going in on Prince Harry and Meghan:

Here’s a transcription of the podcast comments there, via Stephen Douglas of The Big Lead:

“The ****ing grifters. That’s the podcast we shoulda launched with them. I gotta get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories.”

Smith reacted to Simmons’ comments as only he could. Not only did he have to look up the word “grifters” but he provided his audience with a dictionary definition.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I pride myself on having a relatively extensive vocabulary,” Smith said. “I never knew what the hell grifters meant. So, I had to look it up…A grifter is a con artist: someone who swindles people out of their money through fraud. That is what Bill Simmons called Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

“In all seriousness, he’s qualified to say that. I am not, because I know nothing of them. I know nothing about their [Spotify] deal. I’m appalled that my daughter can tell me about it…and then I realized, although I wouldn’t call them any names and I certainly wouldn’t be derogatory or incendiary towards them on a personal level. I thought Bill Simmons was a bit excessive. I didn’t think that was necessary, but then again, he works for Spotify, not me. So, he knows more than I would ever know about that particular situation, which means it came from a personal place.”

Smith did agree with Simmons’ assertation that Prince Harry doesn’t bring much to the table other than talking about the royal family, and he just complains about them.

“If Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex ain’t complaining about the royal family, I don’t know if anyone cares what they have to say,” Smith continued. “I’m not trying to dog [Meghan Markle] like she doesn’t have any talent or anything like that. She did damn good on…I love Suits. Matter of fact, I’m gonna watch it again. I’m gonna watch it again. I love that show. But what I’m saying is, you don’t really care what they have to say unless they’re insulting their family.”

Smith again insisted that he doesn’t care about this topic at all, before offering his listeners to go check out Piers Morgan and ask him about the royal family instead.

“But when Bill Simmons said that, I was like ‘Damn, he does have a point,'” Smith said.

[The Stephen A. Smith Show] Image from YouTube

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.