It was a special day for Oprah Winfrey as the media mogul was the first-ever recipient of the Hollywood Reporter’s Empowerment in Entertainment Award. The award was created to honor those who have “created opportunities for people of color, women members of the LGBTQ community, and emerging voices in the industry.”
“Extra’s” Tanika Ray caught up with Winfrey, who opened up about the honor, and her recent comments on leaving “60 Minutes.”
“I don’t need another award in my lifetime, I don’t, but I took this from the Hollywood Reporter happily, because it’s empowering young people,” she said.
THR has also created the Young Executive Fellowship, a two-year mentorship program for high school students from historically underrepresented communities. Oprah said of the program, “I could weep, but I am wearing too much mascara to cry with you… When I first came to Bel Air and I saw how wealthy people, wealthy white people, really live and I was like, ‘Whoa, has this been going on all the time?’”
She continued, “I had never had access and I remember that feeling like, ‘Whoa, there is a whole new world,’ and I just met these 20 people and told them your life is about to change.”
Oprah recently opened up in her THR cover story about her decision to leave “60 Minutes” because she didn’t want to change. She told Tanika, “At first I was trying to actually conform… members of my team were saying, 'This is odd.' I said, ‘No, no, no, I am going to go in… I am a new member of the team and that’s what I am going to do.'”
She went on to say, “Then it became pretty evident to me I couldn’t do it that way. I love the storytelling… The real reason I came was to discover that piece on trauma and that piece on trauma really changed me… It’s the reason I’m doing that mental health series, so a lot of good came from it and I love the show, I still watch the show… It just was not the format for me.”
Oprah has teamed up with Prince Harry on an Apple TV docuseries on mental health.
Harry announced the news on his Instagram page earlier this month, revealing they are partners, co-creators, and executive producers on the project, which will launch in 2020.