Oprah Winfrey recalls how she felt after Joan Rivers' comments about her weight

When she had finally given up on the idea of acting in The Colour Purple, she told Lima about a phone call that altered everything
Oprah Winfrey recalls how she felt after Joan Rivers' comments about her weight

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey recalled her first appearance on The Tonight Show and host Joan Rivers' comments about her weight that made her feel like she should be, "shamed", reported People.

Winfrey, who feared she had recently lost a role in The Colour Purple owing to her weight, said on The Jamie Kern Lima podcast that she came on The Tonight Show in 1985 to promote how her show A.M. Chicago, was outperforming then-ratings behemoth Phil Donahue. However, the conversation turned to Winfrey's size.

"I should be shamed," she said."Joan Rivers turns to me and she said, 'Tell me why are you so fat?'" Winfrey, told Lima, the author of the bestselling book Worthy and the founder of IT Cosmetics.

"On national television," Winfrey said, adding, "and I don't know what do with that." "I just did, like, 'Oh, I just love potato chips, Joan.' "Winfrey continued, saying that Rivers, who died in 2014, told her "Shame on you."

Winfrey shared, "I agreed with Joan Rivers," who she says told her, ' "I'll let you come back if you lose 15 lbs. You need to lose 15 lbs.'" "She says to me on national television," Winfrey continued. "And I accept it. I accept that I should be shamed, because how dare me, be sitting up here on The Tonight Show."

Winfrey said she and Rivers "agreed that I was gonna go away and lose 15 lbs. And of course, I didn't lose the 15 lbs.. I went and ate my way to another 10 lbs."

Winfrey shared that she had gone away to "this health retreat", which she explained was "at the time, they called them fat farms" to lose weight.

Winfrey said that she was struggling to accept that her weight had lost her a role in The Colour Purple. When she had finally given up on the idea of acting in the film, she told Lima about a phone call that altered everything. The Colour Purple's producer, Steven Spielberg, told Winfrey, '"I hear you're at a fat farm.' " "'You lose a pound,'" he told her, " 'You could lose this part.'"

Winfrey said the phone call was a full-circle moment for her -- because she'd finally "let go" of the part when she got the call. "The instant I let it go was the greatest life lesson I have ever received, because I physically felt the release," said Winfrey. "The second I did that it changed," she said -- and Winfrey did, of course, land the role of Sofia, which earned her an Academy Award nomination. "That became my grounding teaching for the rest of my life and career," she shared. "Do everything you can, work as hard as you can, and then let it go," reported People.

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