Oprah Winfrey Forbids Friends From Using N-Word

The mogul discusses racism, civil rights in Parade.

Posted: 08/02/2013 08:15 AM EDT

(Photo: Parade Magazine, August 2013)

Use of the N-word tends to draw a lot of controversy, but there's no question where Oprah Winfrey stands on the subject. 

The media mogul covers Parade magazine with her Lee Daniels' The Butler co-star Forest Whitaker and gets into detail about her views on race relations. "You cannot be my friend and use that word around me," Winfrey says. "It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree." 

Lee Daniels, who directs Winfrey and Whitaker in the film, admits that he used the word "quite a bit" until Winfrey sat him down "and talked about its power."

The OWN boss also concludes that young people today "don't know diddly-squat" about the civil rights movement. "Do we live in a land where Martin Luther King's dream has been ultimately fulfilled? No. Are more people judged by the content of their character than by the color of their skin? Yes. Is everybody judged by the content of their character? Absolutely not."

Suffice it to say, Winfrey won't be breaking bread with The Color Purple co-star Rae Dawn Chong anytime soon. The actress recently made some shocking comments about Winfrey, implying that the mogul would have been a "field n*****" had she lived during slavery. Chong tried to walk back her comments after the understandable backlash, claiming she intended to "compliment" her former friend.

Though her Parade comments make it clear where her relationship with Chong stands, Winfrey has not directly responded to the outrageous comments.

Lee Daniels' The Butler hits theaters on August 16.

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