Update: Oprah Winfrey Says There’s ‘No Validity’ To Rumored Feud w/ ‘The Color Purple’ Star Taraji P. Henson: ‘I’ve Been The Greatest Champion Of This Film’
Update: (Jan. 08, 2023): Oprah Winfrey wants the world to know there’s no drama between her and Taraji P. Henson.
As previously reported, Taraji has been very vocal lately about issues she’s faced in the industry as a Black actress, including problems she ran into while filming her latest project “The Color Purple.” For those who may be unaware, the film was produced by Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones.
After Taraji P. Henson came forward with her truth, many called Oprah Winfrey out for allegedly not backing the cast and alluded there’s an ongoing issue between the former talk show host and Taraji.
However, during a recent red-carpet interview with ET’s Kevin Frazier, Oprah clarified that she has nothing but love for Taraji.
“I heard I was trending yesterday because people were saying I was not supporting Taraji. Taraji will tell you herself that I’ve been the greatest champion of this film, champing not only the behind-the-scenes production but also everything that everybody needed.”
Oprah then explained that she had no say over the film’s pay budget, seemingly addressing claims that the cast was underpaid. She continued, claiming that when she learned there was an issue on set she would step in to help as she could.
“There’s no validity to there being a thing between Taraji and I.”
Original Story: (Dec. 21, 2023): Actress Taraji P. Henson is shutting down any and all speculations that she has taken issue with Oprah Winfrey.
The movie star uploaded a lengthy post singing the media giant’s praises recently after social media users presumed Winfrey was the subject of Henson’s emotional discussions about fair pay.
Sharing a picture of the two, Henson wrote:
“It is so important for black women and ALL women of color to support each other.
It is also imperative to have women of color in decision making positions across ALL industries.
Thank you for responding to my message with the compassion, understanding and support that I’ve received. With that being said…Ms. OPRAH has been nothing less than a steady and solid beacon of light to ALL OF THE CAST of The Color Purple!!!”
“She has provided ENCOURAGEMENT, GUIDANCE and UNWAVERING SUPPORT to us all.
She told me personally to reach out to her for ANYTHING I needed, and I did!
It took ONE CALL… ONE CONVERSATION… and ONE DECISION MAKING BLACK WOMAN to make me feel heard.
Thank You Ms. @OPRAH For ALL That You Do”
Henson’s message comes amid rumors that she has been upset with the OWN network founder due to unfairly being paid. As we recently covered, the Oscar nominated actress broke down in tears while discussing the topic, expressing her frustrations at being low balled consistently because she’s a Black woman. The conversation has been a repeated point of discussion for Henson since she’s been on “The Color Purple” press tour, and even revealed that she nearly walked away from the project because of issues about pay. She stated during an interview:
“I’m really getting tired of Black women having the same story its breaking my heart…It’s like every time you achieve something really incredible its almost like the industry looks at like a fluke…so you crawl back to the bottom and you gotta negotiate and fight tooth and nail to get what you made the last time when, where’s my raise? I haven’t seen a raise in my income since ‘Proud Mary’. And almost had to walk away from ‘The Color Purple'”
Taraji should have waited until after the Color Purple hype was over to speak publicly on her pay being too low. pic.twitter.com/afrWpc7vTD
— James Jones (@jamesjonesesq) December 21, 2023
“Because you know what, if I don’t take a stand, how am I making it easy for Fantasia and Danielle and Halle and Phylicia…why am I doing this?”
It seems social media users inserted Winfrey into the discussion after Henson appeared to be tense around the famed interviewer during a recent press stop.
Reacting to the video, one social media who wrote:
“Taraji seems like she is fighting back her urge to cry, and it looks like she may feel slighted by Oprah here,”
While another added:
Many others seem to have drawn similar conclusions.
However, it seems Henson put a rest to the speculations before they got too far out of hand as she confirmed she and Winfrey are in good standing. It does not seem that Oprah has spoken publicly about the situation at this time.
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