“It was not the best format for me,” Winfrey told The Hollywood Reporter in a profile for the latest issue.
“How should I say this? Never a good thing when I have to practice saying my name and have to be told that I have too much emotion in my name,” she continued. “I think I did seven takes on just my name because it was ‘too emotional.’ I go, ‘Is there too much emotion in the Oprah part or the Winfrey part?’ I was working on pulling myself down and flattening out my personality, which, for me, is actually not such a good thing.”
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THR cover: @Oprah Winfrey talks ’60 Minutes’ exit, ‘Leaving Neverland’ backlash and Mayor Pete “Buttabeep, Buttaboop” in first #Empowerment in Entertainment issue https://t.co/dN3y66LWiO pic.twitter.com/xg2lEuySZ2
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 30, 2019
Winfrey was named a “special contributor” to “60 Minutes” in January 2017 and said in a press release at the time: “I’m so excited and proud to join forces with this historic news program, which for me represents the bastion of journalistic storytelling.”
The media mogul stepped away from the program in October 2018 to help campaign for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Here’s what else she had to say in her THR profile:
On who she will support in the 2020 election: “Right now, I’d probably want to sit down and talk to Butta [Pete Buttigieg] … “Mayor Pete” feels easier. I like saying “Butta.” (Laughs.) So I’m reading about him. I have Kamala’s book. I just got the Vanity Fair piece on Beto [O’Rourke]. I’d done some research background stuff on him before. I already know Cory [Booker]. So I’m quietly figuring out where I’m going to use my voice in support.”
On whether she wants to return to acting: “No, it doesn’t feed me anymore … I think to be really, really good at it, you’ve got to do it a lot. You’ve got to work at it. And it’s got to be something that you have true passion about. I don’t think it’s something you can dabble in. It was fun to be Mrs. Which, and I did that because I wanted to go to New Zealand and wear the costumes. But no, it doesn’t feed my soul anymore.”
On the advice she gave Gayle King about negotiating her high-profile CBS News contract: I said, “Get what you want. Get exactly what you want because now’s the time. And if you don’t get what you want, then make the next right move.” Even without me, she was going to do that. But that was my advice, and I actually called up her lawyer, Allen Grubman, and I said, “Allen, she should get what she wants.” And Allen goes, “What the F do you think I’m doing here? I said the same thing to her!” The negotiation was already happening before her R. Kelly interview.
On how the Kelly interview gave King more leverage: I know. I sent her a text saying, “Jesus looooves you.” But [the R. Kelly interview] could not have been better if I had done that myself. I think every interviewer thinks, “What would you have done in that moment?” And what she did was absolute perfection. I just thought that for this moment to happen at the time when she’s also in the middle of negotiations is unbelievable — but she’s always had that [gift]. One of my girls who is studying to be a journalist sent me a text saying, “Oh, Auntie Gayle, broadcasting goals.” And I said, “Not broadcasting goals, life goals. Your life goal [should be] to be able to be centered in the middle of whatever storm is showing up in your life.”
On whether the Time’s Up movement is doing enough to empower women: I am grounded in a spiritual sense of: Everything is happening just as it’s supposed to be happening. So the fact that it even exists, that there is an organization called Time’s Up that’s created for the empowerment and the emboldening of women is exactly where we’re supposed to be right now. And the new day on the horizon is actually here. That new day where because a waitress in Idaho or a factory worker in Michigan has heard somebody else share their story, she says, “Oh no, no, no, you can’t talk to me that way, I’m not going to take this anymore.” That’s happening all over the country, so the culture is changing because of the Time’s Up movement.
Read the full interview here.