Oprah Winfrey Explains Why She Needed to ‘Take a Deep Breath’ After Election Results
Oprah Winfrey didn’t realize she’d get so much backlash for telling her followers to “take a deep breath” after Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. And yet, here we are.
After tweeting a photo of the President-elect meeting with President Barack Obama with the hashtag #HopeLives, the former talk show host was met with flak from Trump supporters. Though the controversial tweet still stands, Winfrey recently explained that the note was not a critique about the businessman-turned-politician or his policies.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) November 10, 2016
“I couldn’t breathe after the election,” she told Ava DuVernay during a special screening of the filmmaker’s new documentary, 13th, on Sunday (Nov. 13, 2016). In an interview broadcast on Facebook Live, Winfrey said the tweet was more meant for her than anyone else. “I was expecting tension, awkwardness, and strain. So when I saw them sitting together, I actually took a picture of the screen that said ‘President-elect Trump honored to meet Obama.’ And President Obama was being so gracious, and I heard Donald Trump say, ‘He’s a good man.’ I heard Donald Trump say, ‘I’m going to be seeking his counsel.’ I literally went [deep breath], I can breathe now.”
“My mistake, and this is what I know to be true: you can never talk about everybody,” she said, acknowledging that not all felt nervous in seeing Trump get elected. “Even in your arguments with your husband and your children. Don’t talk about what you should do, what you ought to do – you can only speak for yourself. So what I should have said was, ‘I just took a breath.’ What I said was, ‘Everybody take a breath – #HopeLives.’”
She added that she should’ve used the hashtag #CivilityLives “because this was more civil than I expected it to be.”
There. Now can we all agree to just chill about this?