Oprah Winfrey, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, says she never yearned to become a mother. Why? She claims her children would have probably hated her.
Winfrey was fabulous on her long-running talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, but her warmth and compassion with her guests didn’t extend to the home front: “They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”
Her best friend, Gayle King, an anchor on CBS This Morning, is the opposite of Winfrey; she has two children and dreamt about her children’s names in seventh grade. For Winfrey, she wanted to be like Martin Luther King Jr.
Women can have it all but something always ends up suffering. It could be the work, the children, the husband, the pets, the social life. For Winfrey, a leader in many senses of the word, children simply did not fit in with her lofty ambitions. (She has also never married but has dated Stedman Graham for many years.) She had too many plans (still does), and besides, she gets to indulge her maternal side when she works with the students at her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which she opened in South Africa in 2007 to help improve girls’ education and encourage higher learning. She keeps in constant contact with them and invites women into her home during the holidays and other events. She gets up every morning at 7:30 to talk with her girls, and is surprised by how close she feels to them.
Getting The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) off the ground (which she started after Oprah ended) was hard work. Winfrey hadn’t expected to become so overwhelmed with it but she says she can now admit the mistakes she made: “If I were writing a book about it [OWN], I could call the book 101 Mistakes.”
Because she struggled with her own network’s growing pains, Winfrey doled out advice to her friends who started their own talk shows, like Steve Harvey and Queen Latifah, to whom she said, “Don’t do it until you have 100 percent creative control to be yourself.” Queen Latifah’s talk show premiere was the highest for the fall ratings, which is probably because she’s a warm, approachable person, similar to Oprah.
Winfrey received much laudatory praise for her work as Sofia in The Color Purple so many people were surprised she was not nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, although she did receive a SAG Award nomination, and the Academy Awards will come up next year.
While she enjoys being busy, Winfrey says she wants to scale back her busy life. This is why she had a huge yard sale in November and is planning to move to Montecito. But one wonders if she could really start taking it easy, especially when she is so active on social media, live tweeting her OWN shows and being a constant on the OWN message boards. She may want to spend more time with Stedman, but it doesn’t look like she’ll be settling into her bed anytime soon.
By Juana Poareo