Oprah Winfrey was trending on social media this weekend, prompting some users to bring up unfavorable older stories about the talk show host. Winfrey has a long career in media, rising up to become a billionaire philanthropist and an authoritative, thoughtful voice. However, some did not want her to less savory deeds to go forgotten.
Winfrey was trending on Twitter this weekend after it was announced that she and other celebrities, philanthropists and some politicians will be hosting a "virus relief livestream." The online event will go on for 24 hours and will include 200 celebrity appearances. According to a report by ABC News, it is officially called The Call to Unite, and it aims to raise money for coronavirus relief around the world. Many of Winfrey's critics began by remarking on how absurd it seemed to them for Winfrey to be asking "normal people" for money.
Winfrey joins former President George W. Bush, actors like Julia Roberts and Jennifer Garner, and musicians like Common and QuestLove in The Call to Unite, which airs Friday night. In the meantime, her appearance on social media this weekend caused many people to dredge up fresh criticism of Winfrey's career, her social maneuvering and her contribution to today's media landscape.
Some criticism were highly specific. For example, one old clip from Winfrey's talk show circulated showing her interview with NBA star Dennis Rodman. At the time, she grilled Rodman about his sexuality and his flamboyant public persona, in a way that many viewers saw as hostile and potentially harmful to Rodman in retrospect.
Another clip showed Winfrey interviewing the Olsen twins, with similar criticisms. Finally, a third viral clip from Winfrey's days on the air showed an interview with Toni Braxton, along with a more recent interview where Braxton said that Winfrey was "mean" to her on set.
Meanwhile, many criticized Winfrey for her years-long public friendliness with Harvey Weinstein before he was deposed for serial sexual assault. Winfrey has already answered this charge a few times. Back in March, in an interview on Gwyneth Paltrow's podcast, she said that she had no knowledge of Weinstein's predatory behavior in those days. However, she did know he was "a bully."
Here is a look at what social media had to say about Winfrey, her past work and her upcoming charity event on Twitter this weekend.
I don't know why Oprah is trending right now, but here's a reminder that she ignored Harvey Weinstein's sick behavior for years. The woman's a fraud. pic.twitter.com/NKpZOfKiR7— Pittsburgh Patriot (@BurghPatriot) April 28, 2020
Oprah repeatedly asking and intimidating Dennis Rodman about his sexuality. This was extremely toxic femininity pic.twitter.com/x5NFPHLpFf— jm (@JacobiMyles) April 27, 2020
Will @Oprah address her recently repaired interview with Dennis Rodman? How many times did she need to ask him if he was gay? Did she not understand his answer the first time? Second time?— Smeagol (@saltonabarnap) April 28, 2020
Also, @Oprah , how is @HarveyWeinstein doing?
Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen
WHAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO IS DISCUSS HOW PROBLEMATIC #Oprah IS WITHOUT BRINGING UP THIS VIDEO / they were 18 at the time.. #expose #Oprah asking the olsen twins about their size #marykate & #ashly pic.twitter.com/K8kZh3x0Gd— Japheth (@fjpanama97) April 28, 2020
Lol, as if we needed another example of how wack these celebrities are.... MF Oprah is worth BILLIONS, yet she is hosting a fundraiser? I’ve said it before and I will say it again, WHO IS MONITORING THESE THINGS? Who is allocating these funds? https://t.co/BCr8zGyCSf— Michael Dade (@MrMichaelDade) April 28, 2020
Zzzz from their wealthy estate with pools and property— SisterChurchLady (@KarenMi82300212) April 28, 2020
Oprah did not interview some people properly. This is what Toni Braxton says happened to her …pic.twitter.com/Yhh42APmCt— King of Leon. (@MightiJamie) April 28, 2020
Hasn't Oprah done enough damage to the people already?— TAMIL (@Goodmoringmm) April 28, 2020
These old clips of Oprah make me realize how problematic she was & how she was able to attain her level of success. She consistently vilified her own community for the White gaze, for DECADES. I was way too young to get it then but I’m grown & wide awake, now.
T R A S H. pic.twitter.com/r6V6lapZ6Z— Petty L'Belle ☾ (@xoJoyBelleox) April 27, 2020