Top Spotify executive Bill Simmons has been spotted for the first time since labeling Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘f***ing grifters’ after the Sussexes split with the music streaming giant.
Simmons, 53, Head of Podcast Innovation and Monetization at Spotify, was seen sauntering through a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles on his way to work as he chatted on the phone with earbuds in.
The streaming exec did not comment on his recent condemnation of the ex-Royals in which he slammed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after they produced only one 13-episode series of a podcast for the company despite signing a mega $20 million deal three years ago.
Spotify and the Sussexes’s production company Archewell Audio released a joint statement on Thursday evening saying they have ‘mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together’.
‘The f***ing grifters,’ Simmons said as he slated the pair on an episode of his own platform The Bill Simmons Podcast on Friday.
Spotify and the Sussexes last week said they have ‘mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together’. Meghan and Harry are seen at the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards in New York, May 16, 2023
Simmons, 53, Head of Podcast Innovation and Monetization at Spotify, was seen sauntering through a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles on Monday after slating the Sussexes
In the recent episode, Simmons told guest sports journalist Ryen Russillo, ‘The f***ing grifters. That’s the podcast we should have launched with them.’
‘I’ve got to 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,’ he added.
The Spotify boss was chatting on his sports-based podcast with Russillo about basketball and possible NBA trades when the conversation diverted to Meghan and Harry.
Confronted about his comments as he walked into work in Downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Simmons did not comment on his outburst.
‘What happened on that podcast, Bill?,’ Simmons was asked.
‘I’m on a business call. I can’t talk now, I’m sorry,’ he said as he entered the elevator.
Simmons first gained notoriety with his website The Boston Sports Guy in which he started writing sports columns. It became successful enough that he was picked up by ESPN in the early 2000s, eventually writing for its Page 2 section and then heading up its blog Grantland.
During his tenure at ESPN, he was at one point America’s most read sports writer.
After leaving ESPN, and a short failed venture with HBO, Simmons launched his own website The Ringer in 2016. The outlet focused on sports and pop culture as well as podcasts.
The Ringer was then sold it to Spotify in 2020 for a reported $200 million. Simmons still remains CEO of the outlet and retains editorial control.
He also joined Spotify as an executive, heading up podcast innovation and monetization in which he has worked with the Sussexes on their somewhat lackluster podcast ventures.
Bill Simmons was spotted for the first time on Monday since labeling Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘f***ing grifters’ after the Sussexes split with the music streaming giant
The steaming exec did not comment on his recent condemning of the ex-Royals in which he slammed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after they produced only one 13-episode series of a podcast
‘The f***ing grifters,’ Simmons said as he slated the pair on an episode of his own podcast The Bill Simmons Podcast on Friday
Spotify and the Sussexes’s production company Archewell Audio released a joint statement on Thursday evening saying they have ‘mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together’
The move to ditch the Duchess of Sussex ‘s Archetypes podcast follows discussions months ago about renewing it for a second series. The two are pictured at the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at the Southbank Centre, July 17, 2018
Meghan signed off her 13th and last Archetypes episode with a defiant piece of poetry about survival – but made no mention of a potential second series
But this is not the first time he has been critical of the couple.
Last January, in another episode of his podcast, he blasted Harry, saying it was ’embarrassing’ to be affiliated with the same company.
‘Shoot this guy to the sun,’ he said. ‘I’m so tired of this guy. What does he bring to the table?
‘He just whines about s*** and keeps giving interviews. Who gives a s***? Who cares about your life? You weren’t even the favorite son.
‘You live in f****** Montecito and you just sell documentaries and podcasts and nobody cares what you have to say about anything unless you talk about the royal family and you just complain about them.’
The move to ditch the Duchess of Sussex‘s Archetypes podcast, which explores the ‘labels that try to hold women back’, follows discussions months ago about renewing it for a second series.
Insiders close to the audio giant claim the royal couple did not meet the productivity benchmark required to receive the full payout, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Markle, however, is still planning to create more podcasts and find a new home for her series, which previously featured her friend and tennis star Serena Williams, pop sensation Mariah Carey and South African comedian Trevor Noah.
Meghan Markle’s Spotify podcast Archetypes will not be renewed for a second season
Bill Simmons, who sold his podcast and sports journalism company The Ringer to Spotify for $200 million in 2020, now works as Spotify’s head of podcast innovation. He is pictured at The GRAMMY Museum on March 23, 2023 in Los Angeles
The axing of the show comes after sources close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed the pair would stop making tell-all Netflix documentaries, publishing memoirs and sitting down for interviews discussing the royal family, as they have ‘nothing left to say’.
The talent agency that recently signed Meghan, WME, told the Wall Street Journal: ‘The team behind Archetypes remain proud of the podcast they created at Spotify.
‘Meghan is continuing to develop more content for the Archetypes audience on another platform.’
The podcast reached the top of Spotify’s charts in the week it premiered.
Meghan signed off her 13th and last Archetypes episode with a defiant piece of poetry about survival – but made no mention of a potential second series.
Closing the show, which featured men for the first time, she quoted the Greek post-war poet Dinos Christianopoulos and said: ‘What didn’t you do to bury me? But you forgot that I was a seed.’
Discussions to publish more content from Archwell – the production company owned by the royal couple – are ongoing, the Wall Street Journal reported.
There are also suggestions that Meghan could soon look to bring back her wellness and lifestyle blog The Tig, in a bid to rival Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website, which is reportedly worth $250 million.
Since officially leaving the Royal Family and moving to California in 2020, the Duke and Duchess have pursued a number of different avenues to bring in revenue.
This includes Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir Spare which he created as part of a $20 million deal with Penguin Books.
The couple also teamed up with Netflix to produce the docu-series called Harry And Meghan, with the streaming giant reportedly paying the pair $100 million for the six-episode series.