Melissa McCarthy has no time for the internet bullies attacking Meghan Markle, and she defended the Duchess of Sussex as she considers the royal a close friend.

“It bums me out for every woman and every person, that for no reason people just like to attack,” Melissa, 53, told Page Six while attending the Broadway premiere of Suffs, a suffragette-inspired musical produced in part by Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai. “A smart, interesting woman that has her own life, for some reason, is incredibly threatening to some people,” she continued.

The Bridesmaids alum counts Meghan, 42, a “wonderful” and “awesome” pal, and finds the duchess’ work amid the online vitriol “inspiring.”

“I’ve never once been threatened by someone who is amazing,” Melissa continued. “I just think how inspiring. It’s really on the people throwing the hate.”

Meghan and Melissa’s friendship has been in the public eye before, as the two teamed up in 2021 to celebrate the duchess’ 40th birthday and her 40×40 initiative, inspiring women through mentorship. After appearing alongside Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, in the video, Melissa reflected on the couple in an interview with Access Hollywood.

“They were so sweet and funny,” she said at the time. “I just found them very inspiring. They’re carving out their own lives. They’re carving out their lives for their kids.”

Since stepping back from their roles as senior royals in 2020, Meghan and Harry, 39, have been working in the nonprofit and advocacy space, focusing primarily on veterans, women’s rights and vaccine equity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout their work, however, Meghan has faced an increasingly concerning amount of online bullying and a 2021 study from Bot Sentinel found that she was the subject of a coordinated hate campaign. Over 114,000 negative posts on X came from the same 83 accounts and had an “estimated combined unique potential reach of 17,000,000 users.”

Existing at the center of such online disdain was a focal point of Meghan’s while appearing as a keynote speaker for South By Southwest’s (SXSW) panel​ Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen in March.

“We have forgotten about our humanity,” Meghan said while on the panel, accompanied by Katie Couric and Brooke Shields. “I keep my distance from social media right now for my own well-being. Why people would be so hateful … It’s not catty, it’s cruel.”

The duchess further revealed that the online bullying she received reached its peak when she was expecting her children.

“The bulk of abuse was when I was pregnant,” Meghan shared, before turning her attention to the ways in which women can tear each other down on social media. “How much of the hate is women completely skewing that to other women? I cannot make sense of it. The systematic change (of social media and women targeting each other) has to happen at the same time as the cultural level.”