Why Rose McGowan Has Harsh Words For Oprah

In October 2017, The New York Times broke the sexual harassment story of Harvey Weinstein and how he paid off women for decades. One of those women was actor Rose McGowan, and she has stayed vocal about her treatment by Weinstein (via BBC). Along the way, she hasn't been afraid to call out those she feels could have acted on their alleged knowledge of what Weinstein was doing, including Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep (from Vulture). And the latest target of McGowan's anger in regards to Weinstein seems to be Oprah.

McGowan posted a picture of Oprah kissing on Twitter, "​​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 victims, she is about supporting a sick power structure for personal gain, she is as fake as they come. #lizard".

For some context of the Simmons reference, according to The New York Times, co-founder of music label Def Jam Recordings Russell Simmons was accused of rape by three women around the same time the Weinstein story broke. In 2020, Winfrey stepped down as executive producer from a documentary "On The Record" about the women who accused Simmons. When she did, she admitted that while Simmons did attempt to pressure her to step down from the project, that wasn't why she left; instead, she saw inconsistencies in some of the story (from The New York Times).

Oprah Winfrey stepping back from the Simmons documentary caused distress

It seems like McGowan's tweet was a direct attack on this withdrawal from the project. One of the accusers featured in the documentary, Drew Dixon, didn't seem to appreciate Winfrey leaving the project. "I feel like I'm experiencing a second crime," Dixon told The New York Times. "I am being silenced. The broader community is being intimidated. The most powerful black woman in the world is being intimidated."

For Winfrey's part, she clarified why she left the project in a statement "First and foremost, I want it to be known that I unequivocally believe and support the women. Their stories deserve to be told and heard. In my opinion, 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" (via The Hollywood Reporter).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).