[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Rose McGowan is coming for Oprah Winfrey! On Sunday, the Charmed alum lashed out at the talk show host, claiming there’s an “ugly truth” behind the media mogul. Along with sharing a photo of Oprah kissing convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein on the cheek at the 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the 47-year-old wrote on Twitter:
“I am glad more are seeing the ugly truth of @Oprah. I wish she were real, but she isn’t. From being pals with Weinstein to abandoning & destroying Russell [Simmons] [sic] victims, she is about supporting a sick power structure for personal gain, she is as fake as they come. #lizard.”
Damn, she’s not holding back!
As Perezcious readers will recall, Rose alleged Weinstein had sexually assaulted her back in late 1997/early 1998 while she was working on the sci-fi film Phantoms. She was one of the first women to come forward against the movie mogul, as well.
The harsh comment comes after Oprah went viral over the weekend for a former interview with Dolly Parton, in which many speculated the host meant to embarrass the country star by asking probing questions about her plastic surgery and mental health. In the first clip, Oprah acknowledged:
“You’ve been open that you’ve had some work done, some tucks and pulls and sucks.”
To which the 9 to 5 vocalist laughed:
“Yes, I have and I’ll have some more when I need them.”
Frowning, the 67-year-old transitioned to discussing mental health, sharing that the performer had experienced a “huge depression” when she turned 40. Again, the Steel Magnolias lead held nothing back, telling the audience:
“That wasn’t cause I turned 40, it was cause I was fat and 40. I really had a lot of problems at that time, a lot of female problems. Just hormones… But I’m okay now, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me because it made me take inventory.”
Watch the full clips (below).
i went searching for the rest. why did oprah drag dollys mental health into it ???? pic.twitter.com/Z9XzbM8iwt
— Liz (@datbitchliz) August 28, 2021
While some social media users argued that the topics were “groundbreaking” at the time, most were reminded of the A Wrinkle In Time actress’s former relationships with Weinstein and Simmons, both of whom have been accused of sexual misconduct.
From 2017 to 2019, the co-founder of the hip-hop label Def Jam Recordings was accused of rape and sexual misconduct by at least 15 women. This included Jennifer Jarosik, who accused the music producer of rape in January 2018 but eventually filed a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice in April. At the time of her filing, Simmons denied the allegation, saying:
“This allegation is absolutely untrue. I look forward to having my day in court—where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known.”
A Jane Doe also accused the entrepreneur of rape in a different lawsuit, but a judge dismissed it because of the statute of limitations. Again, Simmons told E! News that the allegations were “horrific” but that he had not committed the crime:
“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.”
So, how’s Oprah involved in all of this??
She was most recently executive producing a documentary highlighting his victims’ stories that was set to premiere on Apple TV. But because of creative differences, she exited her role on the untitled pic by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and got it pulled from the streaming platform, according to The New York Times. In January 2020, she announced:
“There is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured, and it has become clear that the filmmakers and I are not aligned in that creative vision.”
She claimed to still be passionate about supporting the victims, adding:
“I have great respect for their mission but given the filmmakers’ desire to premiere the film at the Sundance Film Festival before I believe it is complete, I feel it’s best to step aside. I will be working with Time’s Up to support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.”
But, despite her reasoning, Rose and others saw that business move as “abandoning & destroying Russell Simmon’s victims.” Things remain icky when looking into her past with the disgraced film producer, who has been found guilty of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual act in the first degree. Weinstein, whose many victims inspired the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up campaign, is currently facing additional charges in a Los Angeles court, for which he has pleaded not guilty.
Harvey and Oprah go way back. Like many at the time, she claimed she “didn’t know” about his gross behavior toward women, which included McGowan (so you can see why she has such a hatred for any friend of his). That said, the podcast host did know Harvey’s aggressive side, admitting in 2018:
“I was in Chicago, in my own little world, but what I knew about Harvey was that Harvey was a bully and that if Harvey’s on the phone, you didn’t want to take the call because you’re going to get bullied in some way.”
Yeesh. That’s perhaps not as bad as knowing about his sexual misconduct, but still not great. Obviously, these are tricky situations to look back on — after all, Harvey and Russell had strong ties in the entertainment industry. Oprah wasn’t the only one willingly cozying up to the producer, but we know that doesn’t justify either one of their actions, especially in the eyes of a victim.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Do you think there’s really an “ugly truth” to Oprah? And was she trying to be rude and manipulative in her discussion with Dolly or is the internet just interpreting the conversation differently today than when it originally aired? Let us know what you think in the comments (below).
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