Oprah, for decades now, has been known as an immensely kind, generous, magnanimous, and sensitive person. On her long-running talk show, she treated her guests with respect, dignity, and warmth so frequently that audiences counted upon it as a feel-good part of their day. So many might be shocked to read that Oprah has come under fire this week for an episode during which critics claim she treated her guests appallingly (via the Daily Mail). Thanks to the magic of the internet, old episodes of shows often resurface for one reason or another, and sometimes, in the light of modern morals and current culture, interactions that at the time may not have ruffled many feathers spark rage among current viewers.
One such instance is a recently resurfaced video of an Oprah interview, during which the famous host spoke with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen back in 2004, when the pair were teenagers. A question Oprah asked the young women at the time has the internet ablaze.
The backlash against Oprah
Back in 2004, tabloids and other media outlets spent an inordinate amount of time focusing on the size and weight of female stars, and the Olsen twins were no exception. In fact, many at the time expressed concern that Mary-Kate was looking unhealthily thin, and wondered if she was battling body dismorphia or an eating disorder. During the interview, Oprah asked the 17-year-old stars, “What size are you?” Considering the rumors that had been going around, this was not an appropriate or supportive question. And it really, really didn’t age well considering that later that same year Mary-Kate checked into a rehabilitation center seeking treatment for anorexia.
Social media has been blowing up with criticism with Tweets like this one: “WHAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO IS DISCUSS HOW PROBLEMATIC #Oprah IS WITHOUT BRINGING UP THIS VIDEO / they were 18 at the time.. #expose #Oprah asking the olsen twins about their size #marykate & #ashly. Another commenter said, “what size are you? wtf is that i would be so taken back ! #oprah.” And, upon watching the video, you can see that the twins were, in fact, taken aback, and do not directly answer Oprah’s invasive question.
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