Oprah is a female entrepreneur and mogul on the top of many role model lists, and for good reason. She’s experienced the American dream in full, earning millions as a producer, book club creator, talk show host, actress, and magazine publisher, not to mention being the host of the most successful daytime talk show of all time. From poverty and trauma to total icon, here are Oprah’s most controversial interviews of all time.
1. Elizabeth Taylor
When Oprah got an interview with Elizabeth Taylor, it was a big deal, but Winfrey committed one big no-no — she asked about the star’s romantic life. After asking, Taylor responded, “none of your business” and was rude for the rest of the interview, which was obviously filled with bad blood and hostility. Oprah even made a sarcastic quip about Taylor not opening up about anything, and Taylor called it “the worst interview of my life”.
2. Tom Cruise
Everyone remembers the couch-jumping incident — when A-lister Tom Cruise, who definitely knows the rules of talk show etiquette, admitted that she was super smitten with Katie Holmes, leading him to jump out of his seat, throw his arms in the air, fist-pump, get on one knee, slap the ground, and do a bunch of other crazy things. The crowd loves it, and while Oprah had a smile on her face, she was obviously shocked by the ordeal.
3. Michael Jackson
A M.J. Q&A was coveted for any journalist, and Winfrey jumped on the chance. It was the singer’s first public talk in 14 years, and he used it as a chance to address controversy and rumors. He explained that the reason for lightening skin was due to a genetic skin disease known as vitiligo. He also claimed that his friendships with children was due to his own lost childhood, which was spent working as a performer. He also opened up about abuse from his father.