Journalist? Oprah Winfrey Skips Celeb’s Petition for Admitted Rapist

It’s unclear what kind of presidential candidate Oprah Winfrey would be, but she’s not much of a probing journalist. On CBS's Sunday Morning, the“special contributor” talked to celebrity women in the Time’s Up movement about sexual harassment. One member of the all-female panel was Natalie Portman. While talking about Woody Allen, Winfrey managed to forget that Portman appeared in one of his films and that the movie star also signed a petition in defense of admitted child rapist Roman Polanski. 

While talking to Portman, acrtesses Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera and others, Winfrey noted, “Did you all see on Golden Globes that on Sunday Dylan Farrow tweeted about Time’s Up, saying when she came forward about her alleged abuser, Woody Allen, four years ago, that she thought his time was up.” 

 

 

In general, this would be a good question. Celebrities have eagerly worked with Allen for decades, despite the sex abuse allegations (which he denies) by adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. But Winfrey only gently added, “She says she thought his time was up, but it wasn’t. And she asked, ‘Is time really up now?’ What would you want to say to her?”

That point may have been a good time to state that Portman, sitting right next to Winfrey, co-starred in his 1996 film Everyone Says I Love You, four years after the allegations became public. (The actress was 15 at the time.) 

Or it might have been the right moment to challenge Portman for signing the 2009 petition requesting the release of Polanski, who was arrested and charged for drugging and raping a 13-year-old in 1978. (The director then fled the country. In 2009, he had been arrested in Switzerland at the request of the United States.) 

But Winfrey mentioned none of these things. Portman largely stayed silent as others spoke up to Winfrey: 

SHONDRA RHIMES (producer): I home so. I’ll be honest. I don’t know about anybody else, but I hope so. 

KATHLEEN KENNEDY (Hollywood executive) : I’d like to believe that time’s up for silence. We can start there. 

In an online version, Portman quietly stated, “I believe you, Dylan.” 

A partial transcript is below: 

CBS Sunday Morning
1/14/18
9:59am ET

JANE PAULEY: Oprah Winfrey delivered much-acclaimed speech on behalf of the Time’s Up campaign at last Sunday night's Golden Globes. A 60 Minutes special contributor since last fall she takes stock this morning with other members of the movement. We're delighted to welcome her to Sunday Morning. 

... 

10:03

WINFREY: Did you all see on Golden Globes that on Sunday Dylan Farrow tweeted about Time’s Up, saying when she came forward about her alleged abuser, Woody Allen four years ago, that she thought his time was up. I think he was getting the same award that I received. And she says she thought his time was up, but it wasn’t. And she asked, “Is time really up now?” What would you want to say to her? 

SHONDRA RHIMES: I home so. I’ll be honest. I don’t know about anybody else, but I hope so. 

KATHLEEN KENNEDY: I’d like to believe that time’s up for silence. We can start there. 

WINFREY: It should be noted that Allen has denied Dylan’s allegations. And following two investigations, no charges have ever been filed against him. Still, the larger issues remain. 

AMERICA FERRERA: I think a big part of this is not just changing the written rules, but the unwritten rules. And I think what we are experiencing right now is a tectonic shift underneath our feet where women and men are feeling like we can no longer not say the truth. 

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