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The Royals Wouldn’t Let Meghan Markle Say a Specific Curse Word on Suits
Suits creator Aaron Korsh opened up about the challenges of working with a would-be Royal.
There’s a renewed interest in the USA legal dramedy Suits, which has become one of the most-streamed shows of the summer, as tons of fans (old and new) are watching the nine-season series (available on Peacock). That one of the show's stars is Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry to become the Duchess of Sussex, probably has a little something to do with why people are so interested in the show. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter prompted by Suits’ streaming resurgence, creator Aaron Korsh revealed that the Royal Family eventually was reading the scripts for the show, and they forbade Markle’s character from saying a specific word on the show.
Markle, who played paralegal Rachel Zane for the show's first seven seasons, was not dating a royal when she was first cast in Suits in 2011. It wasn’t until 2016 that she started dating Prince Harry, and they became engaged in late 2017.
Korsh, who was one of a handful of the cast and crew of Suits who attended to Royal Wedding, told THR that he was excited for Markle, of course, but there were some downsides. The Royal Family “weighed in on some stuff. Not many things, by the way, but a few things that we wanted to do and couldn’t do, and it was a little irritating.”
Specifically, Korsh recalled a time when Markle’s character, Rachel, was supposed to say “poppycock,” a nod to Korsh’s own in-laws who frequently said the word.
“The royal family did not want her saying the word,” Korsh explained, saying that it was either the directing producer or Markle’s agent who broke the news to him. “They didn’t want to put the word 'poppycock' in her mouth. I presume because they didn’t want people cutting things together of her saying 'c---.' So, we had to change it to 'bulls---' instead of 'poppycock,' and I did not like it because I’d told my in-laws that [poppycock] was going to be in the show.”
Korsh, who was a little annoyed but ultimately sympathetic to the concern that Markle would be made out to be saying words she wasn’t actually saying, explained he does not know how the Royals were getting the scripts in the first place. “I was aware that they were reading them because I got the feedback, but I don’t remember the process by which they got them,” he said.
Elsewhere in the THR interview, Korsh recalled how Suits originally began as an idea for a Wall Street drama before he eventually switched the setting to in the law world. He also let slip that, because the USA Network’s programing at the time was mostly two-handers rather than shows with an ensemble cast of the sorts Suits ultimately was, he pitched a very different version of the show where Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Mike (Patrick J. Adams) quit the firm and set out on their own in the first episode.
“We’re in the pitch, and Jeff Wachtel, who was president of USA at the time, was like, ‘Well, why are they leaving?’ And I was so inexperienced, I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to be like, ‘Because you guys told me they had to leave!”’ Instead, Dave Bartis, my producing partner, said something like, ‘They’re leaving because you don’t do ensembles, you do two-handers.’ And Jeff said, ‘You’re right. We don’t do ensembles, but maybe we should?’ And then he pitched that they stay at the firm, which was, of course, music to my ears.”
Luckily for Suits fans everywhere, the ensemble version of Suits was the one that went forward, resulting in moments like Meghan Markle almost — but not quite — saying “poppycock.”
Watch all nine seasons of Suits on Peacock.