Hollywood, CA – Oprah Winfrey is a well-respected talk show host, media personality, author, motivational speaker and apparently sexual abuse enabler. Long before we knew Oprah as the social justice warrior that she became, she was better known as Harvey Weinstein’s pimp, providing him with “fresh” young actresses to satiate his uncontrollable and deviant sexual desires. So it was somewhat ironic that Oprah had the audacity to lecture America about the pervasive sexual abuse culture in Hollywood during her Golden Globes speech on Sunday.
What Oprah conveniently failed to mention was her close relationship with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, a fact British actress Kadian Noble brought up in November as the #MeToo fallout was in full swing.
Noble said at a press conference in Manhattan that she had met Weinstein in 2014 at an event in London with Oprah “swinging off his arm,” which Noble said impressed her because she was hoping to advance her career. Oprah was known to be by Weinstein’s side which sources say allowed young aspiring actresses to “let their guard down.” According to a former employee at Miramax, the hugely successful entertainment company co-founded by Weinstein,
“It was almost as if Oprah made Harvey look ‘safe.’ That like Oprah wouldn’t be so chummy with anyone who would do that kind of thing.”
If Oprah was the front, then aspiring actresses like Noble took the bait and said at the #MeToo conference,
“I thought, obviously, this man has something amazing in store for me.”
Instead, Weinstein gave empty promises of career advancement to lure Noble to his hotel in France, where she claims he raped her.
“I felt completely played. I still can hear the rattle from his belt, like him undoing his belt while he had grip of me.”
“It seemed like it went on forever and he basically took, just completely touched me inappropriately and got me to put – force my hand in places.”
The incident prompted Noble to file a sex trafficking lawsuit against Weinstein in a Manhattan federal court in November. According to Noble’s attorney, Jeff Herman,
“Harvey wasn’t acting alone. Harvey wasn’t allowed and enabled to do what he did to Kadian and other women without help.”
That help came from none other than Oprah. According to another former Miramax employee who worked closely with Weinstein and has met Oprah on several occasions and who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation,
“Oprah has this incredible onscreen personality and she comes across as a sincere, genuine person.”
“So naturally if she’s with Harvey, it’ll make Harvey look as if he’s one of ‘Oprah’s favorite things.'”
“Oprah’s favorite things,” is a regular fixture on the Oprah Winfrey show where she talks about her favorite products and services and which have been found to transform companies and change lives. In the case of Weinstein, Oprah’s endorsement of the sex offender changed lives indeed.
At least 30 actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwenyth Paltrow, have come forward against Weinstein, alleging he used his enormous power to sexually assault them without fear of reprisal.
Given Weinstein and Oprah’s cozy relationship, her condescending speech promising “a new day on the horizon” for “all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault” is not just ironic, but deeply hypocritical.
According to a former employee at The Weinstein Comany, Oprah didn’t only know about Weinstein’s abuse of the young wannabes, she actually enjoyed knowing that they were as she said “being put through the paces.”
“She hated how her body looked and that these skinny, white, young girls were using their bodies and their physical assets to get to where they wanted to go, well from Oprah’s perspective – ‘they knew what they signed up for.'”
Oprah has long struggled with issues of her weight and physical appearance, sharing her 40-year struggle recently with E!. But according to a former The Weinstein Company employee, Oprah’s insecurity about her weight and what was seen to be jealousy at the string of young white actresses that were summoned by Weinstein made her look the other way on what she knew was their sexual abuse by the movie mogul,
“She would make comments like, ‘every cracker needs a big cheese.'”
According to the employee, Oprah was particularly resentful over how many of these actresses had “no talent” and you could dip your hand into a cracker barrel and wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from one to the other,
“I worked hard to get where I am. I worked damn hard. As a black woman and with my size, if I had that ass in those jeans, I’d just walk in and do whatever it takes and I’d be there.”