Rae Dawn Chong uses the N-word to describe Oprah WInfrey, sort of apologizes
Rae Dawn Chong made one heck of a comeback from 1980s obscurity, apologizing on her YouTube channel after saying on an Internet radio show Oprah Winfrey would be a "field n-----". She did take time in her apology to attack TMZ for telling everyone about it, though.
The site posted a clip of the interview, in which Chong started off by complaining about Winfrey on Matty P's Radio Happy Hour (the same place that revealed Teen Mom Farrah Abraham didn't know who Trayvon Martin was). Chong said Oprah went from being "lovely" on the set of 1985's The Color Purple to being "a total biatch" when Chong starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando.
"I starred in Commando. And she just wasn’t having me. She’s competitive. She didn’t like me. She just was not having me," she said on the show. But the knives hadn't even started to come out.
"If you look at the way (Oprah) looks, she looks like 60 years ago she would have been a house keeper, luckily," says Chong, whose mother is black. "She would have not been a house n----- she would have been a field n-----."
That sparked quite a firestorm on Friday after TMZ posted it, so much so that Chong answered in video form, insisting it wasn't an insult. "I just want to say, out of context, it's a most unfortunate choice of words, and I regret it," she says (watch it below). "In context, I was actually complimenting Oprah."
She then rambles on about thinking she shouldn't have said it, but still doesn't really like Winfrey. To be fair, Chong did say on the radio show that while her personal relationship with Oprah wasn't good, she credited Winfrey with being "amazing," because "she was the fat chick in school that, like, did everything and everyone loved her."
"She shifted the DNA in terms of our thinking of a woman of a certain size and a certain shade. I love her for that," Chong said. "I don't care what she's about. I don't care that I know her ins and outs. I just think that she's done a lot and I love her for that."
Of course, it remains to be seen how calling Oprah fat and ugly was a compliment, but when you're largely famous for a string of '80s movies and not much else, there's obviously a limit to how you can express yourself.