Taraji P. Henson Slams Rumors of a Feud With Oprah Winfrey Over The Color Purple

Taraji P. Henson is setting the record straight after feud rumors sprung up between her and The Color Purple producer Oprah Winfrey.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Jan 18, 2024 4:19 PMTags
Watch: Taraji P. Henson Gets EMOTIONAL Detailing Pay Inequality

Taraji P. Henson is telling these rumors to keep it movin'.

After speculation mounted on the internet about a feud between The Color Purple actress and Oprah Winfrey—who acted in the 1985 film and acted as a producer of the 2023 remake—Taraji is setting the record straight once and for all. 

"I see what's going on, but there's nothing spin there," she told Today.com in an interview published Jan. 18. "You saw the woman doing the electric slide in the dust with us. She was right there in the field doing the electric slide. She held our hands the entire production. She showed up, she was there—there are producers that don't show up on set."

Rumors of a rift between the two women came after Taraji shared she almost backed out of The Color Purple due to pay disparity. However, as the Empire star noted, she found support in Oprah throughout the filming process, who "would step in and do whatever (she) could to make it right" on set.

"She called me personally," Taraji added. "Not my team, not my people—me. And asked me, ‘Taraji, if there's anything you need, you let me know.' And I said it with a shaking voice, I was like, ‘Well, yeah,' since she asked. And I told her and she fixed everything the next day."

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And instead of fixating over her recent comments, Taraji has expressed the desire to move the conversation back to the film itself—and to acknowledge the work Oprah did put in in her producer role. 

"What you're not gonna do is pit two Black women together," she continued. "Not on my watch. I hope they can focus back onto this film, because right now, to me, it feels like what I said is now becoming louder than this beautiful film."

Arturo Holmes / Contributor (Getty)

She continued, "And that's not fair to me, or anybody in the film, because the film deals with women who live in an oppressed system. Men and women. And all the characters in that film except for the white people. So that movie is about healing. That movie is about sisterhood."

For her part, Oprah also recently addressed the rumors after online chatter grew louder.

"I heard I was trending yesterday because people are saying that I was not supporting Taraji," she told Entertainment Tonight on the Golden Globes red carpet Jan. 7. "Taraji will tell you herself that I have been the greatest champion of this film, championing not only the behind-the-scenes production but also everything that everybody needed." 

But as Oprah noted in her conversation with ET, the film's final budget was up to Warner Bros., giving the media mogul no control over film salaries. 

"I'm not in charge of the budget, that's the way the studio system works," she added.  "Whenever I heard there was an issue of there was a problem—there was a problem with the cars, or a problem with the food—I would step in and do whatever I could to make it right."

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