Rose McGowan Said Oprah Is “As Fake As They Come” In A Scathing Post Just Days After An Uncomfortable Clip Of Her Interviewing Dolly Parton Went Viral
Rose McGowan called out Oprah in a scathing tweet that also criticized her past relationships with convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein and Russell Simmons, who has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Oprah Winfrey of being “as fake as they come,” calling out the television mogul for her past friendships with convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein and Russell Simmons, who has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct.
On Sunday, McGowan tweeted a photograph of Oprah kissing disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein on the cheek, and accused her of faking her support of the #MeToo movement in a scathing statement.
“I am glad more are seeing the ugly truth of @Oprah,” the tweet read. “I wish she were real, but she isn’t.”
“From being pals with Weinstein to abandoning & destroying Russell Simmons’ victims, she is about supporting a sick power structure for personal gain, she is as fake as they come. #lizard,” she added.
The tweet came after a resurfaced clip of Oprah interviewing Dolly Parton in 2003 went viral over the weekend and sparked a debate among fans, who discussed the nature of Oprah’s questioning.
Perhaps the most uncomfortable moment from the interview came when Oprah asked Dolly about her appearance, probing the country star with a question about the amount of cosmetic procedures she had undergone at the time.
“You've been open that you've had some work done, some tucks and pulls and sucks,” Oprah asked.
In response, Dolly laughed and said brightly: “Yes, I have, and I’ll have some more when I need them.”
After seemingly decoding Oprah’s tone and body language, some deemed that the question was intended to shame Dolly for having undergone plastic surgery.
Others agreed, with another fan adding: “Oprah looked so salty when she couldn’t get her to react how she wanted.”
In a subsequent clip taken from the same interview, Oprah raised questions about Dolly’s mental health, saying she’d heard that she'd dealt with a “huge depression” triggered by turning 40.
The resurfaced interview also prompted fans to look back at previous interviews conducted by Oprah, in which they claimed she’d asked “backhanded questions with the intention of humiliating her guests.”
Several commenters referenced a 1998 interview with Toni Braxton who later recalled that Oprah had been “so frickin’ mean to her” and also accused the talk show host of “reprimanding” her during the interview.
However, not everyone was in agreement.
Others were quick to come to Oprah’s defense, mentioning that her platform was rooted in “authenticity” and intended to garner real and thought-provoking answers to pressing and often taboo questions.
“I feel like y’all are rewriting history without context. Oprah’s show was about authenticity. She asked hard questions & got authentic answers,” one fan wrote in response to the criticism.
Another proposed a similar viewpoint, crediting Oprah for her “groundbreaking” normalization of “taboo topics” like cosmetic surgery.
Subsequently, the viral clips sparked a broader discussion relating to Oprah’s ties with convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein and alleged abuser Russell Simmons, which appeared to trigger McGowan’s tweet.
The photograph attached to McGowan’s statement was taken at the Critics Choice Awards in 2014, just three years before the first allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein went public. He has since been found guilty of two counts of sexual assault.
McGowan was one of the first of dozens of women to accuse Weinstein of rape, and was one of the earliest and most vocal activists during the resurgence of the #MeToo movement in 2017.
But, despite having previously been openly “friendly” with Weinstein, Oprah has insisted she was unaware of his behavior toward women.
However, she did acknowledge that the producer had aggressive tendencies, explaining in 2018 that “Harvey was a bully and that if [he’s] on the phone, you didn't want to take the call because you're going to get bullied in some way.”
McGowan’s tweet also appeared to reference Oprah’s decision to step down from her role as an executive producer on a 2020 documentary film called On the Record, which highlighted the stories of Simmons’ alleged victims. McGowan claimed Oprah had “abandoned” the people alleging Simmons' misconduct by choosing to withdraw from the project.
Simmons was accused of rape and sexual misconduct by 15 women between 2017 and 2019, but has denied all allegations.
In January 2020, it was reported that Oprah withdrew from the production with short notice due to inconsistencies in the story of one of Simmons’ alleged victims, which she felt needed to be addressed before the film was made public.
At the time, she told the Associated Press that Simmons had attempted to pressure her over her involvement, but she insisted that is not what led her to step down.
“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 said at the time in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.
The filmmakers countered that the movie was ready for release, and it premiered at Sundance film festival in January 2020 despite the initial pushback following Oprah’s departure.
Despite backing out, Oprah vowed to “support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.”
BuzzFeed News has reached out to representatives for both Rose McGowan and Oprah Winfrey for comment.