Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair
Phil Simmons, who sold The Ringer to Spotify in 2020 and rose through the tech company’s executive ranks, mocked Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as “f-king grifters” on his podcast on Friday.
The Sussexes and Spotify confirmed their split on Thursday after signing a $20 million deal for their production company Archewell. The deal was part of Spotify’s surge in spending on podcasting, including the roughly $200 million acquisition of Ringer. More recently, the audio giant, which has Joe Rogan and a handful of other notable hosts on its podcast roster, has consolidated divisions, emphasized the creative economy over big-ticket talent, cut staff and laid off employees.
Simmons, who still runs Ringer and is also head of podcast discovery and monetization at Spotify, made the comments on his eponymous podcast.
“F-cking grifters. That’s the podcast we should start with them,” he said. “I got drunk one night and told the Zoom story I had with Harry with the podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories.”
The comments surfaced on Twitter (see below) and were first reported by The Big Lead.
It was on Archiwell’s podcasts archetypes, Hosted by Markle. The show explored social forces that hinder women’s advancement and welcomed guests such as Trevor Noah, Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling and Serena Williams. It didn’t get a second-season renewal, though it may reappear on another platform.
Markle signed with WME last April, the agency also repped Archiwell.
Simmons remained tight-lipped about the royal couple even during their contract with Spotify. Last January, she blasted Prince Harry, saying it was “embarrassing” to be associated with the same company.
“Shoot this guy into the sun,” Simmons yelled, according to the Big Lead post. “I’m so tired of this guy. What does he bring to the table? He whines about sh-t and gives interviews all the time. Who gives a sh-t? Who cares about your life? You don’t even have a favorite son. … You’re in F-cking Montecito. You live, you sell documentaries and podcasts, and if you talk about the royal family, no one cares what you have to say about anything unless you complain about them.”