Billionaire US talk show host Oprah Winfrey has revealed she was the victim of racism, homophobic attacks and much more, all because of her support of HBO’s controversial documentary Leaving Neverland.
“The N-word, “Go back to Africa,” slut, hoes. … It became racist and homophobic and vile and “String ya up,” “It’s against the Lord.” I mean, you name it. Similar to the Michael Jackson thing. I happened to be on Twitter for something, and somebody had said, “Oprah Winfrey is a disgrace to the race” or something. Yeah, the whole race. I decided, you know what? This isn’t going to be healthy for me, so I just didn’t engage with it,” Oprah shares in a new, just published interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Leaving Neverland follows the story Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who came to know The late Michael Jackson from a young age — as young as 5 in Robson’s case — and who now claim Jackson sexually molested both of them at separate times when they were children. The two-part, four-hour-long documentary was filmed by Dan Reed and premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival last month. It includes intimate interviews with Robson, Safechuck, both of their mothers, their wives and Robson’s siblings.
Winfrey, in conjunction with her network OWN, hosted an hour-long special “Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland,” in which she interviewed the two men — Wade Robson and James Safechuck — and director Dan Reed.
Oprah admitted that she hadn’t experienced that much vitriol since she appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ 1997 sitcom Ellen, in which she came out publicly.
“It made me think, ‘Thank goodness Ellen’s coming out was before social media because can you imagine?’” Winfrey said, adding people on Twitter claimed she was “a disgrace to the race” for interviewing Robson and Safechuck.
The 65-year-old media mogul though says she doesn’t regret being part of the documentary and has no time for her haters. “I don’t regret it,” Winfrey said. “I saw it, and I was shaken by it. I wasn’t even shaken by the fact that it was Michael Jackson, I was shaken by the fact that [director] Dan Reed had done a really good job of showing the pattern, and for years, I had been trying to show people the pattern.”
Oprah is currently on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter.
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