Paula Deen might not be the first person to admit to using the N-word, but she certainly made waves when she did so during a recent deposition. Following her admission, longtime Deen supporters like the Food Network and Target dropped their association with her fairly quickly.
Many wondered how Oprah Winfrey, a friend of Deen’s since the chef’s 2012 “Oprah’s Next Chapter” interview, would respond to the N-word controversy. Thus far Oprah remained quiet about the incident, but she’s finally let her feelings be known.
“In the very first days I tried to reach her and then I decided to stay out of it as I saw it blowing up. In time she will be fine. For me, it all just felt kind of sad,” Winfrey tells Entertainment Tonight (via Us Weekly).
In true Oprah style, the OWN creator says she’d like to let the “dust settle” before she and Deen can have a “real conversation” about racism in the modern day. As for Oprah, she doesn’t believe racism is dead.
“Nobody in their right mind is going to call me the N-word. You know, you see those fools on Twitter sometime say ridiculous things. But nobody in their right mind is going to do that to my face, because true racism is being able to have power over somebody else,” she says. “So that doesn’t happen to me that way.”
When Deen’s N-word admission was brought up to Oprah recently by Extra, Oprah laughed off the situation and said, “Oh my god! I don’t have anything to do with Paula Deen. She is not the first white lady to use the N-word! Good lord!”