Jacinda Ardern has released a statement distancing herself from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new documentary, saying there was “no communication” with the royal couple.
The New Zealand Prime Minister is one of several influential figures appearing in the new series, titled Live to Lead, which features seven world leaders and advocates discussing their work.
In a trailer released for the series, which airs on December 31st, Ardern is seen smiling for a press pack and an excerpt of a speech, in which she says, “As leaders we have the keys to create a sense of security and a sense of hope.”
Harry and Meghan have served as executive producers and the series has been co-produced with the Nelson Mandela foundation.
Ardern’s office has since released a statement regarding the series, claiming the leader had “no communication” with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the series, and the footage used is from an interview three years ago.
The statement read, “In early March 2019 the prime minister was approached by the Mandela Foundation to participate in a project to develop accessible resources on key attributes of leadership targeted at aspiring young leaders around the world, based off a one-hour interview.”
“Originally we were advised the outputs would be printed and digital books, short films and audiobooks.”
“The interview was conducted on November 8, 2019. In March 2020, a short book entitled Jacinda Ardern (I Know This to be True) was published based on the interview.”
The statement continued, “In March 2021 the Nelson Mandela Foundation advised the prime minister’s office they had secured an agreement with Netflix to broadcast the series of interviews, including the 2019 interview with the prime minister.”
“In May this year the prime minister’s office was notified that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would introduce the series; noting this was nearly two and a half years after the interview had been recorded and permission for its use by the Mandela Foundation had already been provided.”
“All communication throughout has been with the foundation (there has been no communications with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex regarding the project).”
News of a new Netflix series by Harry and Meghan came as a surprise, with their divisive docuseries Harry & Meghan having just recently aired to a mixed reception.
Also featured in the upcoming series are Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on September 18, 2020, Gloria Steinem and Greta Thunberg.
Image credits: Getty Images
This article first appeared on Over60.