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Taraji P. Henson Praises Oprah After A Screening Of “The Color Purple”: “She Was There Holding Our Hands”

Henson Praises Oprah After A Screening

The Warner Bros. musical, which features Henson with Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks, was produced by Oprah.

Hours after receiving a much sought-after SAG best ensemble nomination, Oprah and the actors of The Color Purple convened for a screening of the musical on Wednesday night. During the event, they gently dismissed rumors of ongoing friction between them.

After the credits rolled at the DGA Theater in West Hollywood, Kerry Washington chaired a Q&A with actors Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, and Fantasia Barrino, as well as Oprah, who produced the Warner Bros. film with Steven Spielberg.

Henson was all love for Oprah, stating that she “pours into us” and “knows how to produce,” in addition to bringing “the pride that she has in this project” to the set. “Well, she called and said, ‘Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.'” Henson remembered what Oprah had told her.

“Well, since you asked, I said (laughing).” But the producer is supposed to be doing this, right? Some producers, you guys, never even show up to the set. That she arrived is a gift.

However, my argument is that a competent producer should be doing that. And she advised me to say less when I told her. After fixing everything the next day, she was on set for all the significant and challenging lifts. She was there, loving on us and holding our hands throughout.

Thank you for pouring so much into us, believing in us, and supporting us,” Henson said, expressing her gratitude for Oprah.

As a family, they completed the endeavor, according to Brooks, who said, “We roll for each other.” We voiced grievances to one another. We had a great time together. We were working with each other’s blood in the trenches.

Decades after the 1985 release, Oprah explained why she thought it was time for a new version of the movie, saying, “We had reached a point in our culture once again where women’s voices needed to be heard.”

She said, “I’m guided by something bigger than myself.” “And I believe that the right timing contributed to the manifestation of this specific cast, the church we attend wherever we go, and the unity we all experience.”

Following Henson’s revelation in recent weeks about her unsatisfactory experiences with topics like pay equality or accommodations on set when rehearsing for The Color Purple and other productions throughout her career, a series of activities culminated in the screening and conversation. Her remarks set off a social media frenzy and fueled rumors that Oprah wasn’t doing enough producing-wise.

The discussion started to overshadow the movie’s aspirations for accolades. Barrino and Brooks, who were both nominated for best acting prizes at the Golden Globes last weekend, along with Oprah, were instead barraged with questions on the red carpet about the film itself vs the alleged drama. (Henson, who did not get a nomination, did not attend).

In a media interview conducted the same day as the Globes, Oprah said the rumors were untrue. It’s being told that I didn’t support Taraji. Taraji would admit that I have been this movie’s biggest supporter. Promoting all that everyone required as well as the behind-the-scenes presentation, Winfrey said. Warner Bros. controls that budget; therefore, I’m not in charge of it. That is how the studio system works.

She went on: “As producers, every one of us receives their pay, which was negotiated by your team. Therefore, I would intervene and take whatever action I could to put things right anytime I learned of a problem or an issue, such as a vehicle or food-related issue. And I think she would even attest that it is accurate.

Henson, who portrays Shug Avery in the Blitz Bazawule-directed musical, said in a media interview released on January 5 that she had “fought” and won a lot of things for herself and her other Black female co-stars while they were shooting.

“After they gave us rental cars, I said to myself, ‘I can’t drive to Atlanta.'” This is the insurance company’s responsibility; it’s risky. They are robbing people now. “What do I look like, driving a rental car to work alone?” she questioned. “I said, ‘Can I get security or a driver to take me?'” I’m not requesting the moon. “Well, if we do it for you, we got to do it for everybody,” they say.

Henson also revealed to the press that she has “been fighting tooth and nail every project to get that same freaking [fee] quote” in a cover story for the Golden Globe-nominated Color Purple. Furthermore, it seems insulting when someone says, “Oh girl, you work all the time.” You’re constantly at work. Goddammit, I really must. It’s not that I want to do two films a year and be done with it. My calculations don’t add up. Therefore, I have to go to work. In addition, I have bills.

Separately, Brooks claimed that she was shocked to find no food or private changing facilities when she arrived for an Atlanta rehearsal in a THR video interview with the actors and Oprah.

Since then, Oprah has clarified that she spoke with Toby Emmerich, the head of Warner Bros.’s movie studio, after learning that Henson was furious and that the issues were resolved.

Oprah and the performers also did not mention any of the previously listed grievances during the screening on Wednesday.

Barbie, American Fiction, Killers of the Flower Moon, Oppenheimer, and The Color Purple are the competitors of The Color Purple in the SAG race. While American Fiction and The Color Purple were not nominated, the latter three were almost generally predicted to be. Additionally, Brooks was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

The film, which has suffered at the box office after a good start on Christmas Day, will benefit significantly from the SAG award as it moves closer to the Academy Awards.


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Written by Anthony Peters