Oprah Winfrey has spoken out to deny rumors of a feud with Taraji P. Henson over the recent ‘The Color Purple’ movie. The two stars walked the red carpet at the recent 2024 Golden Globes, where speculation about tensions between them made headlines.
Background of ‘The Color Purple’ Movie and Pay Issues
‘The Color Purple’ is a beloved 1985 Steven Spielberg film based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The story centers on Celie, a young Black woman in the early 1900s American South who endures trauma and abuse.
A recent remake of the film starred Taraji P. Henson as Celie, with Oprah Winfrey also acting in it and serving as a producer. During promotion of the remake, Henson gave several interviews highlighting pay inequity issues in Hollywood, especially for Black women. She shared anecdotes of unequal pay on past projects like ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ with Brad Pitt.
Most pointedly, Henson revealed production issues on the set of ‘The Color Purple’ remake itself. She alleged a lack of basic support like transportation and food for the cast. Her comments prompted wider discussions about systemic barriers and discrimination that Black women in entertainment continue to face.
What Sparked Feud Speculation between Oprah and Taraji
As a high-profile producer on ‘The Color Purple,’ many wondered if Oprah would respond to Henson’s remarks which seemed to criticize the production.
The two stars were spotted together at the 2024 Golden Globes, further fueling speculation. Brief footage showed them chatting but possibly with some awkward tension.
Some media outlets and commentators on social media interpreted the interaction, as well as Oprah and Henson’s separate red carpet interviews, as signs of an emerging feud.
Oprah Addresses Rumors Directly
However, in a new exclusive interview Oprah insists she has no ill feelings toward Taraji. “I have nothing but deep admiration and respect for Taraji and her body of work,” Oprah declared.
She explained the conversation at the Golden Globes was friendly. “We were celebrating! I was so proud of her performance in ‘The Color Purple’ and told her so.”
Oprah also acknowledged Henson’s point about issues on the production. “Any problems that did occur on set were addressed and rectified. I appreciated Taraji speaking her truth. Her courage inspires me.”
What’s Next for Oprah and Taraji’s Careers
Observers feel that Oprah’s strong show of support for Taraji should put feud rumors to rest. The two may continue using their platforms to advocate for equity in Hollywood.
As Oprah’s representative told reporters: “Oprah will keep uplifting diverse voices and stories across her media projects. She believes Taraji similarly tells empowering stories that need to be amplified.”
Indeed, Taraji has expressed resolve to keep fighting pay discrimination. She’s hinted she may extend her activism by publicly naming other productions with inequities if substantial improvements aren’t made industry-wide.
So while Oprah and Taraji maintain mutual goodwill, Taraji seems poised to continue shaking up the status quo in Hollywood. She appreciates Oprah and other power players’ solidarity, but wants them to also take decisive action on addressing racism and sexism issues plaguing the industry.
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