Many millennials were tuned out in 2007, but many of us remember the sheer horror displayed when Oprah Winfrey used her very successful television program to get political and endorse then-Senator Barack Obama over Senator Hillary Clinton.
Liberal white women, in particular, were in full outrage mode.
Did you hear? Oprah Winfrey has officially endorsed Barack Obama, which is great! Unless you’re one of Oprah’s many female fans who are white… and Hillary supporters. There are a lot of women who were really hoping a woman would be president. Because, finally, a woman has a chance to win. And Hillary may have had a better shot with Oprah backing her.
Oprah has power, this has been proven. She’s obviously an amazing woman, a role model and an icon. Politically, does she have to choose between her gender and her skin color? Why are people who claim to adore her making her feel as though she has failed them? And, as a woman who (one would think) wants other women to succeed, has she failed them?
— Jezebel, 12/14/07
It’s quite ironic that a calculation that cost Oprah her standing with women and her television empire is now having to go back to, and depend on, the very demographic she turned her back on. The very women she’ll need if Hollywood’s projection becomes a semblance of reality.
The outrage from the comments on her own website illustrated the black box she put herself in.
I cannot believe that women all over this country are not up in arms over Oprah’s backing of Obama. For the first time in history, we actually have a shot at putting a woman in the white house and Oprah backs the black MAN. She’s choosing her race over her gender- hypocracy at it’s finest!! Oprah- you should be ashamed of yourself!!!!!
For Oprah to do a Martin Luther Kingish, our time has come speech was shocking to me. It didn’t even sound like her. She DEFINATELY chose a black and white platform whether she admits it at all. I for one will be watching Ellen.
Oprah, count me as tuned out for now. It’s a real turn off for a lot of your fans.
She has crossed a line and lost my trust completely.
Winfrey has artfully begun her stump speeches alongside Obama with a negative racial tone.
Don’t pit blacks against whites.
Oprah’s diss of white women in favor of supporting color first over the sisterhood had dire ramifications.
Audience figures for her flagship chat show have fallen by nearly 7 per cent this year, according to Nielson Media Research, its third consecutive year of decline. The circulation of O, The Oprah Magazine, has fallen by more than 10 percent in the last three years and the publication is now seeking a new editor in chief after longtime steward Amy Gross announced her retirement.
Winfrey’s downturn in fortunes is being attributed to her outspoken support for Barack Obama.
Critics say that the majority of her audience are white middle-aged women who typically support Hillary Clinton in the race to become the Democrat presidential candidate, or Republican voters.
— The Telegraph, 5/27/08
If #Oprah2020 is going to have any legs, she may need to do a mea culpa to the millions of women who chose not to follow her lead and support a man instead of the obvious woman. While an even more sensitive issue going into the next presidential election cycle, the media may give her cover initially but primary voters tend to have long memories and are not easily forgiving.
Oprah doesn’t have the clout she had before going all in for Obama. Her empire’s influence is questionable and we’ve yet to hear any of her possible positions on anything outside of that on an afternoon talk show that last aired almost ten years ago.
And just because she’s black and a Democrat is not a lock.
America’s been down that road before.