Oprah Winfrey would love it if people stopped saying she and Taraji P. Henson are feuding. In the past few weeks, Henson has been vocal about the disrespect she’s received as a Black woman in the industry — including not being paid enough for The Color Purple, on which Winfrey served as an executive producer. Rumors of bad blood between the two women began to spring up on the internet and became loud enough that Winfrey herself had to shut them down.
“People are saying that I was not supporting Taraji. Taraji will tell you herself that I’ve been the greatest champion of this film,” Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight at the Golden Globes Sunday night. She noted that she was not in charge of the budget (“That’s Warner Bros.”), but that she made herself available to solve any problems that people were having.
“Whenever I heard there was an issue or there was a problem, there was a problem with cars or the problem with their food, I would step in and do whatever I could to make it right,” Winfrey said. “And I believe that [Henson] would even vouch for that and say that is true.” The former talk-show host was referring to Henson saying that the cast was originally asked to drive themselves to set in rental cars and Danielle Brooks’s recent statement about there being no food provided at their rehearsals.
Winfrey also addressed the rumor that she and Henson were beefing on top of the Empire State Building during a recent stop on their press tour. Internet gossips had claimed that their body language was that of two people who hate each other, while Winfrey insisted that it was just cold.
“On that particular day, we were so cold so I don’t know what kind of body language people were talking about,” Winfrey said. “I was literally just trying to stay warm and that was the fourth thing we had done. There’s no validity to there being a thing between Taraji and I.”
Now that that’s cleared up, Winfrey can soldier on in her efforts to win this movie an Oscar. At this point, maybe we should just give them some kind of honorary award. The Apocalypse Now Award for surviving a shoot where the money wasn’t worth the bullshit. We’ll workshop the name later.