Here’s What Taraji P. Henson Had To Say About Rumors That She’s Feuding With Oprah Winfrey After That Awkward Video Of Them At “The Color Purple” Press Tour Went Viral

Several fans were convinced that Taraji was fighting back tears next to Oprah in the viral video, which surfaced online days after she broke down over pay disparity in Hollywood.

Taraji P. Henson is addressing the viral rumors that she’s feuding with Oprah Winfrey.

she's speaking at a podium with oprah next to her

If you didn't know, Oprah, 69, is the producer of the forthcoming film The Color Purple, in which Taraji, 53, plays Shug Avery.

closeup of the two at an event

Oprah, Taraji, and the rest of The Color Purple cast are currently on a press tour for the film ahead of its release later this month, on Dec. 25.

the cast sitting on stage

And this week, one particular moment from the press tour left several internet users convinced that things were a little rocky between Taraji and Oprah.

the two holding an award on stage

In a video that has gone viral on TikTok, Taraji and Oprah can be seen posing for photos on top of the Empire State Building. Fans said that in the clip, Oprah appeared to glance at Taraji and then “quickly” look away. Several people went on to suggest that Taraji was “trying to hold back tears” as she faced directly up towards the sky and seemingly fluttered her eyelashes.

closeup of taraji holding a mic and sitting on stage

Later on in the video, Oprah moves away from Taraji to pose next to actor Danielle Brooks on the outside of the group. After doing so, her smile noticeably widens, while fellow cast member Fantasia Barrino appears concerned as she looks over at Taraji. You can watch the video here.

oprah speaking into a mic sitting on stage

Now, for some context, this all occurred just days after Taraji spoke out about how she’s constantly fighting for equal pay in Hollywood as a Black woman, in spite of her decades-long success.

closeup of her holding an award

“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, [and] getting paid a fraction of the cost,” Taraji said in an interview, before breaking down in tears. “I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired.”

she's tearing up speaking into a radio mic

For this reason, many fans speculated that the apparent tension between Taraji and Oprah had something to do with Taraji’s recent candid comments.

“Oprah mad b/c Taraji spoke out. I can see the hurt in Taraji’s face,” one person speculated. “It may have to do with what the actresses were paid y’all seen Taraji out here talking about the pay an equity in these interviews lately,” another guessed.

Well now, Taraji is setting the record straight, clarifying that there’s no bad blood between herself and Oprah.

closeup of the two

Sharing a photo of herself and Oprah to her Instagram page, Taraji penned a lengthy message about how the talk show host has provided her and the entire cast of The Color Purple with “encouragement, guidance, and unwavering support.”

oprah speaking on stage

“Ms. OPRAH has been nothing less than a steady and solid beacon of light to ALL OF THE CAST of The Color Purple!!!” she wrote. “She has provided ENCOURAGEMENT, GUIDANCE and UNWAVERING SUPPORT to us all.”

the cast at a movie premiere

“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,” she added.

Elsewhere in her message, Taraji appeared to address the overwhelming support she’s received since speaking out about pay disparity in Hollywood — not just from fans, but from fellow celebrities, too.

“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,” she wrote.

The Color Purple will be available in theaters on Dec. 25.

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