Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Oprah Winfrey critic apologises for racial slur

Oprah Winfrey

Rae Dawn Chong is backtracking over hurtful comments she made about her former The Color Purple co-star Oprah Winfrey.

Rae Dawn Chong unleashed on Oprah while appearing on Matty P’s Radio Happy Hour June 27.

In audio obtained by TMZ, the actress describes how their relationship quickly soured after their 1985 film was released.

"She was lovely [on The Color Purple]," Rae says. "It was after when I did Commando and I was starring with Maria Shriver's husband in the movie. That's when she was a total biotch."

Rae went on to attack Oprah’s appearance.

"She took a woman, if you look at the way she looks - 60 years ago she would have been a housekeeper, luckily. She would not have been a house n****r, she would've been a field n****r,” she continues.

The actress also said she respects Oprah. She noted the former talk show host has done “great things for women of colour”.

"You gotta respect her, no matter how vile she is — 'cause ultimately she's all about Oprah and she's boring — but aside from that, you gotta kinda go, 'Hello, hats off, you have done an amazing thing. You have actually shifted the DNA of the universe,” Rae says in part.

The actress released a video statement on Friday after the media caught wind of her statements.

She now claims she was trying to pay Oprah a compliment.

“In reference to the giant s**t storm I caused this morning… I just want to say out of context it’s a most unfortunate choice of words and I regret it. In context, I was actually complementing Oprah,” she says.

Rae encouraged critics to listen to the radio interview in full and said that she is “in pain that it’s caused pain” to Oprah, herself and others.

Oprah has yet to offer public comment on the remarks.

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