Oprah Winfrey made several racially-charged statements during a BBC interview Friday while promoting her recent film, “The Butler.”
The BBC’s Will Gompertz asked Winfrey if racism is still a contemporary issue.
“It’s gotten better,” she said. “Are there still places where people are terrorized because of the color of their skin, because of the color of their black skin? Yes. But there are laws that have allowed us to progress beyond what we saw in the Scottsboro [case] and beyond even the prejudice we see in ‘The Butler.’”
Gompertz asked Winfrey if she thought the problem of racism was solved.
“Of course, the problem is not solved,” the actress said. “As long as there are people who still, there’s a whole generation – I say this, you know, I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the South – there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.”
If President Obama weren’t an African-American, Gompertz asked, would he be treated differently?
Winfrey mentioned the time when U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., called Obama a liar while the president was delivering a speech to Congress.
“Just the level of disrespect,” she said. “When the senator yelled out, ‘You’re a liar.’ Remember that? Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases, and maybe even many cases, because he’s African-American.”
Watch the BBC interview here: