Oprah Accused of Embarrassing Dolly Parton With Personal Questions in Resurfaced ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ Clip

A decade after her run as The Oprah Winfrey Show host ended, Oprah Winfrey has found herself in the hot seat over a resurfaced interview. During the weekend of Aug. 27, 2021, a 2003 interview Winfrey did with country music legend Dolly Parton went viral on social media. The clip had people debating whether Winfrey’s questions were too invasive.

Oprah Winfrey and Dolly Parton appearing on the TV Show 'Dolly' in 1987
Oprah Winfrey and Dolly Parton | Jerry Fitzgerald/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey’s 2003 interview with Dolly Parton has been spurring controversy online

Oprah has done countless interviews throughout her lengthy television career, but one isn’t sitting right with fans at the moment.

In 2003, the talk show host sat down with multi-Grammy winner Dolly Parton on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, shortly after the singer released her tribute album, Just Because I’m A Woman.

Though the interview started like any other, it soon took a turn when Winfrey began questioning Parton about her history of plastic surgery.

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In a clip from the interview, which initially surfaced on TikTok, the talk show host asked the singer how she was “defying age.” Parton joked by saying she was “a cartoon” before Winfrey pushed, “No, but you’ve been open about how you’ve had some work done, some tucks and pulls and sucks.” 

Parton replied, “Yes, I have, and I’ll have some more when I need them.”

The interview continued with Winfrey asking Parton another personal question. Winfrey dove into a discussion about mental health, pointing out that Parton “went into a huge depression” in her 40s.

In true Dolly fashion, the singer was graceful with her reply, sharing that her experience with mental health stemmed from her being “fat and 40” and some reproductive issues.

“I really had a lot of problems during that time, a lot of female problems,” Parton said. “Just hormones and it just wasn’t just a depression thing. Just changing around. But I’m OK now.”

Oprah’s comments received mixed reactions

It wasn’t long after the old interview between Oprah Winfrey and Dolly Parton resurfaced online that many began slamming the talk show host for asking the singer such personal questions.

Many people accused the media mogul of being too invasive, and some called her out for trying to “embarrass” Parton.

“I feel like Oprah wanted her to be embarrassed but ms dolly said ‘nope,'” a Twitter user wrote.

Meanwhile, others came to Winfrey’s defense, pointing out that the host was just doing her job.

“What on earth are you talking about? She didn’t want her to be embarrassed. She’s having a normal interview conversation with Dolly,” another user commented.

Someone else penned: “Oprah was bringing up content Dolly wanted to talk about. This was prepped ahead of time. This is not an interview per [se], but Dolly coming on to promote whatever. I remember when Dolly lost weight, and did her re-introduction tour. She talked about this w/ more than one host.”

The interview caused actor Rose McGowan to call out Oprah Winfrey for being ‘fake’

In light of the controversy surrounding Winfrey’s old interview with Dolly Parton, actor Rose McGowan voiced her distrust of the talk show host by calling her out for being “fake as they come.”

On Aug. 29, McGowan posted a photo of the TV personality kissing disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein on the cheek at the 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. 

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She captioned the image, “I am glad more are seeing the ugly truth of @Oprah. I wish she were real, but she isn’t.”

McGowan pointed out that in addition to Weinstein, Winfrey has also been linked to record executive Russell Simmons, who is fighting multiple allegations of rape and sexual misconduct. 

“From being pals with Weinstein to abandoning & destroying Russell Simmon’s [sic] victims, [Oprah] is about supporting a sick power structure for personal gain, she is as fake as they come,” McGowan added.

As of this writing, Winfrey has not publicly responded to McGowan’s claims.