Oprah Winfrey was ‘surprised’ Meghan Markle would go so deep into talking about racism during tell-all
'I had no idea that it would have the reverberating impact it has had and continues to have'
Oprah Winfrey has said that Meghan Markle’s racism allegations against the royal family during the bombshell TV interview “surprised” her. The tell-all aired on March 7 when Prince Philip was in the hospital with a pre-existing heart condition. He died on April 9 at the age of 99. Speaking during the launch of Nancy O'Dell's Channel on talkshoplive, Winfrey said: “I had no idea that it would have the reverberating impact it has had and continues to have. I did a lot of preparation for that.” She also admitted that the Sussexes’ openness “surprised” her, especially the former actress’ claim that royal family members had had “conversations with Harry about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born.”
“I'm like, ‘What? You're going there? You're going all the way there,’” Winfrey recalled how she felt at the time. The chat show host said that she did not meet Meghan and Harry before the interview, she only texted them and understood that they were focused on sharing the truth. “Whenever I'm doing interviews with anybody for anything that is significant, I have a conversation with them before. I didn't see Harry and Meghan before but I did text them and say intention is very important to me, tell me what your intention is, so that we can be aligned in our goal. And our shared intention was the truth. They wanted to be able to tell their story and tell it in such a way that allowed them to be as truthful as possible,” she noted.
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Continuing further, she stated, “The reason why it was such a powerful interview — first of all, I know how to ask questions, and you [Nancy] know how to ask questions, we all know how to do our jobs, but what makes it powerful is when you have someone else who is willing to be as open, as vulnerable, as truthful, as they were. So, I don't give myself credit for that, I give myself credit for asking the questions, but the reason the interview was what it was, was because they answered the way they did.”
Winfrey, who was promoting her book ‘What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing’, remarked, “It was really important to me that what we put out there in the world was put out at the time everyone could see it and that things didn't leak, and things weren't misconstrued before the actual interview happened. So I remember when we finished doing the interview and that interview was 3 hours and 20 minutes I think, and I stood up and said to the crew, we all know what was said here, and how important it is to have the trust of the people who just shared that, and so I'm hoping you all will not go out into the world and share what has happened here. And nobody did. And so, as we were releasing clips to CBS, we were releasing them in such a way that whatever was being put out there could not be exploited. So a lot of time and effort and energy went into it on my part.”
Elsewhere in the interview with Nancy O'Dell, Winfrey said she is sending money to people who are not able to do well during the coronavirus pandemic. “I literally have been, people don't know this, going through the newspaper finding stories of people who weren't doing well in their life, sending them money, trying to help because I know I have been blessed. I literally, at the beginning of the pandemic last year, sat down and made a list of people who I knew were not going to be working and I sent the maximum amount that the government allows you to give a person, which is $15,000 dollars per person, and saying I know it's going to be awhile before you're working let me help you out,' she went on. I called it my personal pandemic relief package for friends. So, I think it has made me more thoughtful, the more blessed I become the more I think about people who are not and what can I do to help them,” she added.
Winfrey also expressed her thoughts on the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial. She said, “I didn't watch [the whole trial] because ... I didn't want to have to continue to relive the trauma, because I realized that I had watched the tape too many times. I was surprised that hearing the first guilty verdict, I could feel myself welling up, and then I saw photographs of people in the streets. And then I was full on into the boo hoo cry. This feels like it's more than just for a verdict, it feels like validation, it feels like this time we were seen, we were heard in a way that we hadn't been. I thought about Emmett Till, I thought about all the names that we have seen, protesters in the street talking about Breonna Taylor, and Mr. Castille. I thought about all of those people who didn't get justice in the way they deserved and how those lives seem somehow, in this moment, justice was served for all of them by this verdict. It was bigger than this moment.”