Today host Allison Langdon touches a nerve with remark about ‘woke’ Harry and Meghan’s tour of NYC – leaving newsreader Alex Cullen speechless
Political tensions simmered on Nine’s Today show on Friday after co-host Allison Langdon joked that newsreader Alex Cullen was secretly ‘woke’.
Cullen was reporting on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit to New York City on Thursday – their first public appearance since the birth of their daughter, Lilibet – when he made a throwaway remark about the royal couple’s social justice activism.
But his joke about the Sussexes being ‘woke’ didn’t sit well with Langdon, who hinted Cullen was just as politically progressive as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Awkward! Political tensions simmered on Nine’s Today show on Friday after co-host Allison Langdon (right, with Karl Stefanovic) joked that newsreader Alex Cullen was secretly ‘woke’
Cullen, 40, noted that Harry and Meghan were set to appear at a live concert hosted by Global Citizen, an advocacy organisation dedicated to ending poverty, which is run by Australian-born Hugh Evans.
‘[Evans] knows how to pull a crowd,’ remarked co-host Karl Stefanovic, adding: ‘… a very woke crowd.’
‘He sure does! You can’t get more woke than those two, can you?’ said Cullen, to which Stefanovic replied: ‘You can’t!’
‘Sorry, my friend!’ Cullen (pictured) was reporting on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit to New York City on Thursday when he made a throwaway remark about the royal couple’s social justice activism. But his joke about the Sussexes being ‘woke’ didn’t sit well with Langdon, who hinted Cullen was just as politically progressive as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Langdon’s ears pricked up at Cullen’s comment, which she felt was disingenuous.
‘Listen to you when you’re calling out wokeness!’ she said, implying her colleague was just as ‘woke’ as the Sussexes.
Sensing a line had been crossed, Stefanovic interjected: ‘Ally, that was very personal. We can [have a] go at Harry and Megs, but not people you work with every day.’
Langdon, 42, laughed off the tension and asked Cullen: ‘Are you okay? I don’t know if we are… Sorry, my friend!’
‘I will be [okay],’ Cullen said solemnly, shuffling his notes at the news desk.
The Today show then threw to a live cross with roving weather reporter Tim Davies, who made light of the situation in the studio.
‘Well, I woke up this morning. That’s about as woke as I’m going to get,’ Davies said.
Public appearance: The Duchess of Sussex said it was ‘wonderful’ to be back in New York as she and the Duke of Sussex made their first visit to the Big Apple together on Thursday
The Duchess of Sussex said it was ‘wonderful’ to be back in New York as she and the Duke of Sussex made their first visit to the Big Apple together on Thursday.
Harry and Meghan’s autumn trip to the East Coast saw them head to the city’s One World Trade Center, built on the site of the twin towers which were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
The couple were dressed sombrely for the occasion, which comes two weeks after the 20th anniversary of the terrorist atrocity.
Meghan, with her hair in a bun, wore a navy high-necked coat, turtleneck jumper and trousers and stiletto heels, while Harry wore a black single-breasted suit and dark tie.
Asked by a reporter if she was enjoying her trip to New York, Meghan smiled and replied: ‘It’s wonderful to be back, thank you.’
Harry gazed at his wife as she spoke and smiled.
Asked the same question, the duke echoed Meghan’s sentiments, saying: ‘It’s wonderful, thank you.’
The pair wore black face masks as they moved around the observatory, taking them off as they stood for photographs.
The visit is the couple’s first public appearance together since the birth of their daughter, Lilibet, in June, and their first major public trip post-Megxit.
They posed for the media at the top of the skyscraper against the panoramic backdrop, alongside New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor of New York State Kathy Hochul on Thursday morning.
Sombre: Harry and Meghan’s autumn trip to the East Coast saw them head to the city’s One World Trade Center, built on the site of the twin towers which were destroyed in the September 11 attacks. The couple were dressed sombrely for the occasion, which comes two weeks after the 20th anniversary of the terrorist atrocity
They were also joined by Mr de Blasio’s family – his wife, the first lady of New York, writer and activist Chirlane McCray, and son Dante de Blasio.
Afterwards, Harry and Meghan paid their respects with a visit to the neighbouring 9/11 memorial plaza.
They looked out over a reflecting pool where one of the towers stood, and also visited the September 11 museum.
After visiting One World Trade Center, Harry and Meghan posed for more photographs outside, with Meghan, who stepped down as a senior royal in March 2020, giving a wave to the crowds of bystanders.
Harry grinned as fans screamed and chanted ‘Harry’ and ‘Meghan’.
Meghan gave a thumbs up as one woman shouted ‘Meghan you look amazing’ as the couple walked away from the site hand in hand.
Mr de Blasio tweeted: ‘The tragedy of September 11 touched the entire world, and it’s still felt today.
‘We’re honored to join Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, at One World Observatory.’
The pair later met U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
The diplomat tweeted she had a ‘wonderful meeting with Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’.
Ms Thomas-Greenfield said they had an ‘important discussion of Covid, racial justice, and raising mental health awareness’.
Patti Harris, chief executive officer of Bloomberg Philanthropies, welcomed Harry and Meghan to the September 11 memorial and museum.
‘Leading the way with compassion and unity is at the heart of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s work, and a mission that is very much shared by the @Sept11Memorial,’ she wrote on Twitter.
Ms Harris said she was glad to speak to them at the museum and to ‘learn more about their work’.
Harry and Meghan set up their not-for-profit Archewell Foundation organisation after leaving their royal roles.
It is the first time the Sussexes have travelled to New York together.
While pregnant with her eldest child Archie in 2019, Meghan was treated to a luxurious baby shower in New York by her friends.
She also watched the US Open tennis championships in the city in September 2019.
The pair have been living in California since the start of the pandemic after quitting royal duties for a life of personal and financial freedom.
The Sussexes are in New York to take part in a worldwide event on Saturday urging leaders to adopt a vaccine equity policy to help end the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are joining the 24-hour broadcast Global Citizen Live being staged in New York’s Central Park and around the world.
It is part of a number of shows being held in cities from London to Lagos by the organisation Global Citizen, with artists including Ed Sheeran, Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Metallica and Coldplay scheduled to perform.
Meanwhile, Harry’s sustainable tourism initiative Travalyst has announced internet giant Google as a new partner.
Whirlwind tour: The Sussexes are in New York to take part in a worldwide event on Saturday urging leaders to adopt a vaccine equity policy to help end the Covid-19 pandemic
Google joins firms including Booking.com, Skyscanner, Visa and Tripadvisor, and the coalition is working to help drive mass adoption of sustainability standards.
Travalyst said teaming up with Google represented a ‘significant step forward’ in its mission.
Sally Davey, chief executive officer of Travalyst, said: ‘The Google travel team has committed globally to helping consumers make more sustainable travel choices, and their approach aligns strongly with Travalyst’s collaboration principles.’
Google’s chief sustainability officer Kate Brandt said the firm would build tools and technology to enable travellers and businesses to prioritise sustainability.
Searches on hotels, from this week, now include information on their sustainability efforts, with those meeting the standards having an ‘Eco-certified’ badge next to their name.
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