Protesters Slam Oprah Winfrey for Leadership Comments

AP Images/Invision
Oprah Winfrey

The TV personality had criticized recent protest movements for lacking strategy

Protesters are criticizing Oprah Winfrey for saying that demonstrations over the police treatment of African-Americans have lacked leadership. 

In a video posted Thursday on People's website, Winfrey praised Selma for depicting the thoughtfulness and strategy used by Martin Luther King. She feels this is lacking in recent protests focused on grand juries deciding not to indict the police officer who killed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the one who used a choke hold on Eric Garner

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"I think it's wonderful to march and to protest, and it's wonderful to see all across the country, people doing it, but what I'm looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, 'This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we're willing to do to get it,' " Winfrey said. 

"I think what can be gleaned from our film is to take note of the strategic, peaceful intention required when you want real change," added Winfrey, who co-stars in and produced the film about the 1965 civil rights protests.

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Responses to Winfrey's comments have emerged on Twitter. "If @oprah doesn't see 'leadership' in Ferguson, it's cuz she's not really looking," wrote one Twitter user, according to People. "It's grass-roots — she has to do work to see the teams."

Another Twitter user wrote: "Once again a Black 'celebrity' shows just how out of touch they are. So, while @oprah searches for an outdated leadership model, #weworkin." This tweet was first cited by the Washington Post.

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@pgmedia.org
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski

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