Did Meghan Plagiarize her New York Times Miscarriage Essay?

There have been rumours going around social media that Meghan either had help writing her New York Times essay on her miscarriage, or stole sections of other people’s work and added them to her essay.

But while there isn’t a definitive answer, there are questions. So I’m going to lay out what we know and what we don’t, and you can make your own call on what you believe.

Chasing Light: Finding Hope Through the Loss of Miscarriage is a book on miscarriage written by Stefanie Tong, a Canadian therapeutic dance and movement practitioner. I have read large sections of this book (it’s 104 pages), and I can say for a fact that 99.9% of Tong’s writing doesn’t sound similar to Meghan’s New York Times opinion piece.

Here is the possibly too close for comfort quote from Stefanie Tong’s book that has been making the rounds on royal social media:

And here is Meghan’s wording from her NYT piece:

There is also talk of Meghan having taken the “Are you okay” phrasing repeated in her opinion piece from an Australian public health campaign called, wait for it, R U OK? There is even an annual day called R U OK? Day in Australia, where people are encouraged to ask others if they are okay and talk about mental health.

R U OK?’s social media team used Meghan’s NYT piece to demonstrate the importance of asking people how they’re doing. This makes total sense, even if Meghan did take the phrasing from the organization. The R U OK? people just want to further their message, and if one of the most famous women in the world was going to give them some free publicity by taking their messaging, they did the right thing in terms of PR and attached themselves to her.

I’ve been wondering if I should write about this situation for about a week. I don’t want to fan the flames of something that possibly isn’t true. But I also do have an unstoppable need to know all of the relevant information and make my own decision about something, so I decided to do that here about this rumour. It makes me feel icky, though. I haven’t reconciled those two things. Hopefully by putting all of the information in one place, it’ll be easier for you to consider what’s probable and make your own judgment about it.

Personally, I don’t think she plagiarized from Tong’s book. A very smart person told me that maybe the language in those few sentences feels the same because miscarriage (especially miscarriage when you already have a child or children) and the feelings that surround it are universal. That makes sense to me.

I’m more inclined to believe that Meghan used the R U OK phrasing from the Australian organization because she went on a royal tour to Australia and was probably told about it there. But again, maybe that’s just a universal thing that people ask each other. Even if she did take it from the organization without credit, I don’t see a ton of harm in it and the R U OK? people seem happy that she’s spreading the message. So that’s that.

What do you think? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram, or in the contact section of the website. Stay safe, wear a mask, and donate here if you’d like to support the blog. Thanks for reading.

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One thought on “Did Meghan Plagiarize her New York Times Miscarriage Essay?

  1. As a professional writer for the last fifty years, although Markle’s words about losing her second child may not meet the legal requirements of plagiarization in UK or US courts, as they say, “there are no coincidences”- Markle plagiarized Tong’s work pure and simple and she piggy-back onto the back of a multi-million dollar Australian advertising campaign. With all the resources at her disposal, surely, she could have hired a skilled ghostwriter who would allow her to avoid the (true) allegations that she was a plagiarize. Pathetic. Both Markle and Harry are dumb as a box of hair.

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