Congratulations to anyone who had “Seal starts a feud with Oprah Winfrey” in their 2018 office pool, because that’s what happened when the “Kiss from a Rose” singer shared an incendiary Instagram post on Wednesday. The contributor to the Batman Forever soundtrack posted a meme featuring photos of Winfrey cozying up to disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein emblazoned with the phrase: “When you have been part of the problem for decades…but suddenly they all think you are the solution.”
Seal’s post follows Winfrey’s rousing Golden Globes speech where she spoke out against abuse and harassment of women in Hollywood.
“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said, while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award. “But their time is up. Their time is up.”
“Oh I forgot, that’s right…..you’d heard the rumours but you had no idea he was actually serially assaulting young stary-eyed actresses who in turn had no idea what they were getting into,” Seal wrote in his Instagram caption. “My bad.” He followed that sentiment up with the hashtag #SanctimoniousHollywood.
Winfrey has yet to respond to Seal’s accusation, but Chrissy Teigen seemed to imply that the singer isn’t in a position to throw stones by commenting, “Hmm. Let’s just say we’ve all heard things about each other, haven’t we?”
After Weinstein’s alleged misconduct went public last October, TMZ claimed that Winfrey privately offered her support to the embattled mogul, but her camp denied the report. From TMZ:
Oprah’s spokesperson tells TMZ, “Oprah has not spoken to Harvey Weinstein directly. Someone from his team reached out to her to see if she would talk to him, and she said she would if it was for an interview. There are no plans for an interview at this time.”
Oprah’s rep tells us Oprah was interested in doing a “60 Minutes” interview with Weinstein, but made it clear, “She was only interested if he’d look in the mirror and give her the honest, bone marrow truth.”
Winfrey posted a Facebook statement condemning the disgraced producer.
“Thanks to the brave voices we’ve heard this week, many more will now be emboldened to come forward EVERY time this happens,” Winfrey wrote, in a statement echoed in her Golden Globes speech. “I believe a shift is coming.”
Sure, Winfrey posed for pictures with Harvey Weinstein; so did almost everyone else in show business. A cursory Google image search will produce party shots of Weinstein palling around with sexual harassment or assault accusers like Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Paz de la Huerta, not to mention shots of Seal’s ex-wife Heidi Klum getting cozy with the disgraced studio head, who produced her show Project Runway. Anyone who showed up to an awards show probably ended up in a picture with Weinstein. The implication is that standing next to someone in a photo op makes them partially responsible for the alleged abuser’s transgressions. The rush to blame women for the bad behavior of powerful men also seem particularly troubling.
It’s worth pointing out that Seal can dish out criticism, but he can’t take it. The singer didn’t particularly handle it well when he was called out in 2011 for performing at a birthday party for notorious human rights abuser, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.