Oprah Winfrey has quietly clocked out of 60 Minutes, where she had been serving as a contributor since 2017. In an interview with THR, the empress of OWN explained that she “removed” herself from the show due to creative differences.
“It was not the best format for me,” she told the site, before (carefully) elaborating, “How should I say this? [It’s] never a good thing when I have to practice saying my name and have to be told that I have too much emotion in my name… I think I did seven takes on just my name because it was ‘too emotional.’ I go, ‘Is the too much emotion in the Oprah part or the Winfrey part?’
“They would say, ‘All right, you need to flatten out your voice, there’s too much emotion in your voice,'” Winfrey continued. “So I was working on pulling myself down and flattening out my personality — which, for me, is actually not such a good thing.”
Winfrey intimated in the THR piece that her departure was unrelated to the #MeToo firestorm that has enveloped CBS — and 60 Minutes specifically. “I’d actually gone to [former EP] Jeff Fager prior to the whole CBS [scandal],” she explained, “and said I was going to be working with Apple and that it didn’t mean I would never do something [with 60 Minutes] but I would probably be taking all of my energies and putting them into whatever I wanted to do at Apple.”
With much fanfare, CBS announced Winfrey’s 60 Minutes hiring in early 2017, with Fager touting her “extraordinary” body of work and her unmatched “level of integrity.”
At the time, Winfrey described herself as a “big admirer of 60 Minutes since my days as a young reporter,” adding. “I’m so excited and proud to join forces with this historic news program, which for me represents the bastion of journalistic storytelling. At a time when people are so divided, my intention is to bring relevant insight and perspective, to look at what separates us, and help facilitate real conversations between people from different backgrounds.”