If there’s one thing I know about FOX News from trying to avoid the channel at the gym, it’s that hosts of the different programs love to reach. And that’s what happened when Republican strategist Dee Dee Benkie tried to insinuate that Oprah Winfrey might have opened up about the unfair treatment she received at that Zurich boutique in an attempt to get people to see her movie, The Butler.
This discussion was brought up on the program America Live.
According to Variety
host Martha MacCallum, Benkie, and Fox analyst Jehmu Greene were having a discussion about that $30,000+ bag and the treatment Oprah received when she wanted to see it on the show, and both Benkie and MacCallum claimed that Lady O had overreacted in assuming her treatment was based on her race, when they (both white women) probably wouldn’t have been able to see the bag either. They went on to say that the associate’s behavior was “rude” rather than racist, and Benkie tried to ask the question of whether or not Oprah was sharing this story and classifying it as racism to get people to see her new film (which comes out Friday!):
“Maybe Oprah Winfrey was miffed because she didn’t know who she was. And here’s the other thing: you know Oprah’s got a movie out about the butler. It would be really terrible if she was using this story to promote the movie. I’m not saying that. But I gotta say, it’s not fair to call anyone a racist whenever there’s no proof of it. There’s absolutely zero proof. Rude, yes. Racist, no.”
MacCallum agreed and said that by claiming the incident is racist, it perpetuates an idea that racism is still a major problem…you know, even though it obviously is. That young privilege can keep you blind, ya’ll:
“When we call something like this racist, it perpetuates this discussion, it makes people think, ‘People are still racist. It happens all the time, it happens all the time’ and that’s damaging.”
Fox analyst Jehmu Greene, who is black, tried to explain that yes, this is something that happens all the time, but to appease her cohorts, tried to fall back on her use of the R-word:
“We have to come to grips in this country that we have unconscious bias. We, in our hearts, want to be as equal as possible, but because of the way our brains process all of the messages that come to us through our visual culture—this how our bodies work, this is how our brains categorize things.
Maybe this clerk wasn’t racist but there is a bigger issue in this country…When I walk into a store and go buy hair for a weave, yes, I am treated differently.”
But by the head shaking, constant interrupting and side-eyeing, it seems Benkie and MacCallum didn’t agree. One person’s experience certainly isn’t another’s…
Oprah has since apologized
, NOT because the story wasn’t true, but because it got blown up media-wise to a point where the country felt the need to send out an apology for her treatment. She even did this on the red carpet of one of the premiere’s of The Butler
, so to claim she came out with this story (especially when she was trying to keep people’s names out of it) to get sympathy so that someone would see her movie, now that’s damaging, honey.
What do you think? Could this have been for publicity? Or was Benkie wrong to even insinuate such a thing?