Oprah Winfrey has faced some backlash in recent days for asking Americans to support a wildfire relief fund to benefit Maui, where she owns a mansion. She has also purchased nearly 1,000 acres in Hawaii.
The billionaire media mogul is now facing a different type of criticism as part of a new Apple TV+ documentary. In one segment of “The Super Models,” Cindy Crawford recalled an uncomfortable appearance on Winfrey’s talk show in 1986.
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As soon as she came out on stage, she said that the host made her feel objectified and asked the studio audience: “Did she always have this body?”
From there, Crawford said that Winfrey continued to remark on her physique and told her to stand up so everyone could take another look at her. While models might expect a certain level of attention during a show or a photo shoot, she said that this experience was demeaning and has stuck with her for nearly four decades.
“I was like the chattel or a child, be seen and not heard,” she said. “When you look at it through today’s eyes, Oprah’s like, ‘Stand up and show me your body. Show us why you’re worthy of being here.’ In the moment I didn’t recognize it and watching it back I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that was so not OK really.’”
Of course, Winfrey is not the only former television host whose rhetoric and behavior have received criticism from former guests. Last year, model and actress Brooke Shields spoke out against the way she was treated at the age of just 15 by broadcasting icon Barbara Walters.
“She asked me what my measurements were and asked me to stand up,” Shields said during an interview with talk show host Drew Barrymore. “And I stand up, and she was like comparing herself to this little girl. And I thought, ‘This isn’t right. I don’t understand what this is.’”
Not knowing how to handle the situation at such a young age, she recalled: “I just behaved and I just smiled and felt like so taken advantage of in so many ways.”