Taraji P. Henson calls Oprah a ‘steady and solid beacon of light’

Henson took to Instagram with a post dedicated to media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who produces the latest iteration of "The Color Purple," in which she stars.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey (left), a producer of the new "The Color Purple" iteration, and Taraji P. Henson (right), a star of the film, attend "THR Presents Live: The Color Purple" at Crosby Hotel on Dec. 11 in New York City. (Photo: Arturo Holmes/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)

Taraji P. Henson is giving Oprah Winfrey her flowers. The star of “The Color Purple” took to Instagram to write about the media mogul, who produces the latest version of the classic Alice Walker novel.

“It is so important for black women and ALL women of color to support each other,” Henson wrote in her caption. “It is also imperative to have women of color in decision-making positions across ALL industries.”

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey (left), a producer of the new “The Color Purple” iteration, and Taraji P. Henson (right), a star of the film, are shown at “THR Presents Live: The Color Purple” at Crosby Hotel on Dec. 11, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)

The actress is referring to the now-viral comments she made in her SiriusXM interview with Winfrey’s best friend, Gayle King, earlier this week, in which Henson shed light on pay disparity in the industry and how Black women are often struggling financially.

“Thank you for responding to my message with the compassion, understanding and support that I’ve received,” she continued before adding, “With that being said…Ms. OPRAH has been nothing less than a steady and solid beacon of light to ALL OF THE CAST of The Color Purple!!!”

The “Empire” star went on to write that Winfrey provided “encouragement, guidance and unwavering support” throughout the film’s process, recalling a moment in which the OWN boss told Henson to call if she needed anything.

“It took ONE CALL… ONE CONVERSATION… and ONE DECISION MAKING BLACK WOMAN to make me feel heard,” she shared.


As theGrio previously reported, Henson’s emotional moment in the Radio Andy interview took the internet by storm as she broke down mistruths regarding pay in Hollywood. “I hear people go, ‘You work a lot,’” she told King. “I have to. The math ain’t mathing. When you start working a lot, you know you have a team. Big bills come with what we do, we don’t do this alone … there’s a whole entire team behind us [and] they have to get paid.”

“I am only human and it seems every time I do something and I break another glass ceiling, when it’s time to renegotiate I am at the bottom again like I never did what I just did,” Henson said, “and I’m tired.”

Her Instagram post helps to clarify Henson’s thoughts and relationship to Winfrey following the SiriusXM chat, as some on social media assumed the actress was referring to Winfrey, the original 1985 film’s Sofia, when describing her experience negotiating.

Never miss a beat: Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter.