That Hollywood trade sucked up to the A+ list mogul again.
Whether it is protecting the disgraced director through promotion or omission or their latest kneepaddy thing by giving the permanent A++ list celebrity a forum to shape her recent comments about another A++ lister.
They didn’t ask one followup that wasn’t designed to make her look better.
A+ list mogul: David Geffen
A++ list celebrity: Oprah Winfrey
A++ lister: Michael Jackson
Disgraced director: Bryan Singer
Oprah Talks Apple Plans, ’60 Minutes’ Exit, ‘Leaving Neverland’ Backlash and Mayor Pete “Buttabeep, Buttaboop”
What’s left for the media empress and icon of inspiration? In a wide ranging interview, Winfrey explains her streaming strategy (including a possible interview series), who she’s eyeing for 2020 (“I’d like to see what’s up with Butta” — aka Pete Buttigieg) and the creative fire that fuels her now.
The year was 1984. Oprah Winfrey was making her way to the Hotel Bel-Air for the first time. As she weaved up Stone Canyon Road, the once impoverished talk show host from rural Mississippi was mesmerized by the opulence tucked behind towering gates.
“It’s the first time that I actually realized how rich white people really lived,” she says. Being able to see it, firsthand, was transformative. “Just recognizing that there is another way of living let me know that that is possible.”
Her series of aha moments continued. The following year, Winfrey arrived at the offices of Steven Spielberg, for whom she made her film debut in The Color Purple. The role earned her an Oscar nomination and an invite to his Amblin headquarters in L.A. Until that moment, Winfrey had no idea, she says, that “you could have your own studio.”
More than three decades later, Winfrey is a self-made billionaire (Forbes estimates her net worth at $2.8 billion) with lavish homes tucked behind gates and, yes, her own studio. She has a TV network, too, along with an eponymous magazine and a megadeal with Apple that will include a book club, documentaries and — she teases here — a potential series that would put her back in the interviewing chair. She’s also parlayed her iconic status into opportunities to educate and inspire worldwide. “I want to leave this planet being able to say, ‘Caused no harm, did a lot of good,’ ” she says.
You made a lot of noise by getting involved with Leaving Neverland, via your special After Neverland. How did that come about?
I didn’t even have to be in it. I didn’t have to take on all that. I said to myself the other day, “Why did I do that?”
Do you regret it?
No, I don’t regret it. It wasn’t really regret, it was just … actually, I was having dinner with friends and they were saying, “We saw you were in that.” Like, “Why did you do that?” This is what happened. 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 [filmmaker] Dan Reed had done a really good job of showing the pattern, and for years, I had been trying to show people the pattern. I’d been trying to say it’s not about the moment, it’s about the seduction. The first thing I said to Gayle [King] when we watched it was, “Gayle, you’ve got to get those guys [on CBS This Morning].” She Instagrammed about it, and I go, “No, you shouldn’t Instagram, you should just get those guys.”
How did you get involved?
I sent [HBO’s former chairman Richard] Plepler a text and said, “Look, I’m trying to reach some of your people. What are you all doing with this?” I really wanted to talk to not just the guys but other people who were seeing it because I knew that people were going to be triggered by it. I knew that there would be people who would be re-traumatized by it and would see themselves in it, and I thought, “I can help thread the needle of what is actually happening here.”
I assume you hadn’t anticipated the blowback?
Oh, the hateration? Honeeeeey, I haven’t had that much hateration since “The Puppy Episode” with Ellen [Winfrey guested as the therapist on the 1997 Ellen sitcom episode in which Ellen DeGeneres’ character comes out], and it made me think, “Thank goodness Ellen’s coming out was before social media because can you imagine?” During “The Puppy Episode,” I had to take the people who were on my switchboard at Harpo off the switchboard because of the vitriol. They were scared.
In your estimation, is the Time’s Up movement doing enough to truly empower women?
I am grounded in a spiritual sense of: Everything is happening just as it’s supposed to be happening. So the fact that it even exists, that there is an organization called Time’s Up that’s created for the empowerment and the emboldening of women is exactly where we’re supposed to be right now. And the new day on the horizon is actually here. That new day where because a waitress in Idaho or a factory worker in Michigan has heard somebody else share their story, she says, “Oh no, no, no, you can’t talk to me that way, I’m not going to take this anymore.” That’s happening all over the country, so the culture is changing because of the Time’s Up movement.- Source