Oprah Winfrey Claps Back at Criticism Over Maya Angelou Tribute—and John Mayer Is Here for It

It's best not to question Oprah Winfrey...over her celebrity friendships.

By Corinne Heller 05 Apr, 2019 3:44 PMTags
Oprah Winfrey, Maya AngelouInstagram / Oprah Winfrey

It's best not to question Oprah Winfrey...over her celebrity friendships.

The 65-year-old TV mogul clapped back at a person who tried to lecture her about how to address Maya Angelou after she posted a tribute to the late poet and civil rights activist, as well as a throwback photo of the two together, on Thursday, which would have been her 91st birthday.

"Maya would have been 91 today!" Winfrey wrote. "This is my favorite picture of us. Even in death I feel the 'unbroken continuity' of her mother-sister-friendship referenced in the Henry Scott Holland canon," Winfrey wrote, then quoted from his 1909 book Death Is Nothing at All."

"Ms. Angelou to you Oprah," one user commented. "You have no license to call her Maya. She will always be Ms. Angelou."

"She actually gave me permission after the 2nd or 3rd visit to her home to call her 'Maya,'" Winfrey replied. "Believe me I've witnessed when other folk did NOT have that permission!"

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Fascinating Facts About Oprah Winfrey

John Mayer loved Winfrey's response.

After the Instagram account Comments By Celebs posted a screenshot of the exchange, the musician commented, "When Oprah claps back - look down. One of her hands is your face. Now look in the mirror. That's right; you have seven Oprah hands for a face. You're tripping. This is due to the dusting of neurotoxins released from the clap. You will wake up at the job you had in high school, but at the age you are today. In your pocket you will find a note that says 'do better.'"

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Winfrey had first met Angelou in 1970 while interviewing her. After the poet died in 2014 at age 86, the TV mogul spoke at her memorial service at Wake Forest University, where Angelou taught for more than 33 years, and received a standing ovation for her emotional speech.