On Sunday, Aug. 29, the Charmed alum drew controversy when she shared a photo of the popular media mogul kissing producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein on the cheek at the 2014 Critics' Choice Movie Awards, tweeting, "I am glad more are seeing the ugly truth of @Oprah. I wish she were real, but she isn't. From being pals with Weinstein to abandoning & destroying Russell Simmon's [sic] victims, she is about supporting a sick power structure for personal gain, she is as fake as they come. #lizard."
On Wednesday, Sept. 1, a Twitter user tweeted at McGowan, "Do you ever shut tf up and work on your own toxic s--t? No? Clean your glass house before throwing stones at others." The actress, who in 2017 accused Weinstein of raping her, replied, "You think I throw stones? No bitch, I drop bombs."
Oprah has not responded to McGowan's insults and allegations about her.
The actress is among more than 60 women who have accused Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, of sexual misconduct in recent years, and their public comments inspired the #MeToo and Time's Up moments. In 2020, Weinstein, who denied taking part in nonconsensual sex, began a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault of two victims, not including McGowan.
"I've been processing the accounts of Harvey Weinstein's hideous behavior and haven't been able to find the words to articulate the magnitude of the situation," Oprah wrote on Facebook in October 2017, a week after the first allegations against Weinstein, including from McGowan, were made public. "Thanks to the brave voices we've heard this week, many more will now be emboldened to come forward EVERY time this happens. I believe a shift is coming."
Oprah starred in Lee Daniels' 2013 film The Butler, which The Weinstein Company distributed. "Was I friendly with Harvey? Yes, I was friendly with Harvey. Was I in association with Harvey for the Butler movie?" Oprah said on Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop podcast in 2018. "Yes, but of course I didn't know any of this was going on."
In recent years, Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, has also faced accusations of sexual misconduct by at least 15 women. He has denied the accusations.
In 2020, Oprah announced she would no longer be an executive producer on a then-untitled documentary that highlighted the stories of Simmons' accusers, saying that "there is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured, and it has become clear that the filmmakers and I are not aligned in that creative vision."
She continued, "I will be working with Time's Up to support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment."