R&B singer Seal accused talk-show host Oprah Winfrey in a social media post of having prior knowledge of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, but the singer later asserted that he was not singling out Winfrey and that his post was misinterpreted (video below).
On Jan. 8, Winfrey addressed a series of sexual misconduct allegations that had swept across Hollywood and other industries while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes.
“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said, according to The Guardian. “But their time is up … So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!”
Winfrey’s speech was well-received on social media and drew some speculation that she would be a viable Democratic candidate for president in the upcoming 2020 election.
On Jan. 10, Seal took to Instagram to share a meme depicting Winfrey fraternizing with Weinstein. The meme stated: “When you have been part of the problem for decades … But suddenly they all think you are the solution.”
“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 a caption, according to Entertainment Weekly. “My bad.”
Since October 2017, Weinstein has been accused of serial misconduct by over 80 women. Several actresses alleged that the producer raped them, in some cases repeatedly. Weinstein has denied all allegations of assault, according to USA Today.
Model Chrissy Teigen swiftly blasted Seal’s post, commenting: “Hmm. Let’s just say we’ve all heard things about each other, haven’t we?”
It remains unclear what Teigen was referring to.
Fox News commentator and actress Stacey Dash also weighed in on Seal’s meme.
“Ouch, he does make a good point though,” Dash tweeted out.
On Jan. 12, Seal uploaded a Facebook video asserting that his post had been misconstrued and was not directed at Winfrey.
“What I reposted was not an attack on Oprah at all,” Seal said, according to Rolling Stone. “She just happened to be the person photographed with the pig in the picture. No, what I reposted was commentary on the hypocritical and double standard nature and behavior in Hollywood.”
The singer added that he did not believe that the women who have come forward to accuse high-profile figures in media and other industries of assault or harassment had not yet received any justice.
“Losing your job because you either a) raped b) sexually abused or even sexually harassed a woman is not real punishment,” Seal continued. “You steal from the post office, you go to jail. Real talk for a second. We all know what would happen to any one of those power abusers if they looked like me.”
Seal also singled out Dash’s tweet, accusing the commentator of intentionally taking his post out of context.
“Stacey Dash, keep my name out of your mouth,” the singer said. “Do not retweet, re-quote anything I have said in order to reinforce your self-hating agenda.”
In October 2017, Winfrey addressed the accusations against Weinstein in a Facebook post.
“I’ve been processing the accounts of Harvey Weinstein’s hideous behavior and haven’t been able to find the words to articulate the magnitude of the situation,” Winfrey wrote.
The media mogul added: “Thanks to the brave voices we’ve heard this week, many more will now be emboldened to come forward EVERY time this happens.”
Sources: Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Oprah Winfrey/Facebook, Rolling Stone, Stacey Dash/Twitter, USA Today / Featured Image: Armael/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Seal/Instagram via Entertainment Weekly, Eva Rinaldi/Flickr