Oprah Winfrey has come under scrutiny for her behavior during a past interview with Dolly Parton, after fans of the American country singer condemned her questions as intrusive and inappropriate.
The TV veteran is being criticized for badgering Dolly with queries about her personal life, including her history of cosmetic procedures and mental illness, during a 2003 episode of her iconic daytime talk show.
The Grammy-award winning musician had been invited to speak to Oprah to promote her Just Because I'm a Woman tribute album, which featured contributions from singers like Shania Twain and Melissa Eldridge, and to share some insights into her private world with viewers.
Some fans, however, believe that the legendary host went too far with the interview, accusing her of crossing the line from gentle curiosity to brutal nosiness with her pressing questions.
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In the resurfaced clip, which has gone viral on TikTok in recent days, Oprah asks , "How are you defying age Dolly, whatcha you doing?"
The Jolene singer initially brushes off the question, responding, "Oh, I don't know, I'm a cartoon so I just look the same all the time."
Clearly dissatisfied with the answer, Oprah pushes for more details. "No, but you've been open about that you've had some work done," she says. "Some tucks and pulls and sucks?"
"Yes, I have, and I'll have more when I need 'em," Dolly quips. "I have a funny little thing I was telling the girls, all the girls that are singing on this tribute album, a lot of them are very young. I said, I was already into plastic surgery when they was still sleeping on plastic sheets."
Her refreshing honesty received an applause from the delighted studio audience, and even a laugh from Oprah herself. The musical superstar, who is known almost as much for her glitzy image as her talented pipes, has never been slow to share her beauty secrets with the public. It was only a few months ago that Dolly Parton revealed the surprising reason she always wears makeup to bed—and no, it's not because she's too lazy to take it off.
In another stage of the interview, Oprah tries to get Dolly to open up about her mental health. "When you hit your 40s, I heard you went into a huge depression. Did you?" she asks.
"That wasn't because I was 40. That was because I was fat and 40," the 9-5 singer jokes, much to the amusement of the audience.
"I really had a lot of problems during that time, a lot of female problems," she goes on. "Just hormones and it just wasn't just a depression thing. Just changing around. But I'm ok now."
Dolly's loyal fans have now taken to social media to call out Oprah for her conduct and celebrate their idol's composed handling of the interview.
"I feel like oprah wanted her to be embarrassed but ms dolly said "nope"," one Twitter user wrote.
i feel like oprah wanted her to be embarrassed but ms dolly said “nope” pic.twitter.com/QuYnxx1fNTAugust 28, 2021
"Look how effortlessly dolly doesn't even ALLOW Oprah to make her into an example," another fan wrote.
Look how effortlessly dolly doesn't even ALLOW Oprah to make her into an example. https://t.co/Gag4E2m71HAugust 28, 2021
It didn't take long for Oprah fans to jump to her defence though. Many condemned Dolly's supporters for trying to 'cancel' the renowned TV star in 2021, pointing out that interview standards have drastically changed over the past two decades. It was also noted that Oprah was not asking the country singer anything she hadn't already spoken about. Dolly had long been open about her plastic surgery procedures, having addressed her breast augmentation publicly as early as 1992.
"I just can't. People out here trying to cancel Oprah for a past Dolly interview. Are we watching the same interview? It was a great, fun interview. Also, these are things Dolly has openly talked about. I just can’t with all this. LOL," one person wrote.
I just can’t. People out here trying to cancel Oprah for a past Dolly interview. Are we watching the same interview? It was a great, fun interview. Also, these are things Dolly has openly talked about. I just can’t with all this. LOL.August 29, 2021
Neither Oprah nor Dolly have commented on the drama, but considering they've collaborated on-screen multiple times since the interview first aired, we think it's safe to assume there's no bad blood between these two megastars.
Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for woman&home. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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