Taraji P. Henson Defends Oprah Amid “The Color Purple” Backlash

Throughout her press run for The Color Purple, Taraji P. Henson has managed to get fans talking with her comments on the pay disparity Black women face in the entertainment industry. Amid the chatter, producer Oprah Winfrey has been met with a great deal of criticism, with countless fans arguing that she’s to blame for the cast being compensated unfairly. According to Henson, however, the controversy has started to overshadow the film, which she notes is all about “sisterhood.”

“I hope they can focus back onto this film,” she told Today.com of the rumors. “Because right now, to me, it feels like what I said is now becoming louder than this beautiful film… And that’s not fair to me, or anybody in the film,” she explained, “because the film deals with women who are oppressed — who live in an oppressed system. Men and women. And all the characters in that film except for the white people. So that movie is about healing. That movie is about sisterhood.

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Henson Says Oprah Called Her “Personally”

Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, Oprah Winfrey and Fantasia Barrino attend ELLE’s 2023 Women in Hollywood Celebration Presented by Ralph Lauren, Harry Winston and Viarae at Nya Studios on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ELLE )

Henson also came to Oprah’s defense during the interview, noting how she called her up personally to ensure that her needs were met on set. “I see what’s going on, but there’s nothing spin there,” she said of beef rumors. “You saw the woman doing the electric slide in the dust with us. She was right there in the field doing the electric slide, she held our hands the entire production. She showed up, she was there — there are producers that don’t show up on set.”

“You know, she called me, she called me personally,” she added. “Not my team, not my people — me, and asked me, ‘Taraji, if there’s anything you need, you let me know.’ And I said it with a shaking voice, I was like, ‘Well, yeah,’ — since she asked, and I told her and she fixed everything the next day.” What do you think of Taraji P. Henson sharing that she doesn’t want rumors or controversy overshadowing The Color Purple? Do you agree with her? What about her coming to Oprah’s defense? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below, and keep an eye on HNHH for more updates.

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