Oprah Winfrey On Starting OWN In 2011: “I Wanted To Bring Spiritual Consciousness… Ain’t Nobody Care About That”

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The G.O.A.T., Oprah Winfrey, is living her BEST LIFE in a magazine feature for Vogue magazine’s September 2017 issue!

Check out highlights from the article where she talks why she ended her long running talk show, overcoming fear, why she chose never to marry Stedman Graham and more!

On returning to acting in HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”: “Oh, man. I was so afraid of that thing. Now I’m glad I did it. I was intimidated by the work, but in the end, what’s the worst that can happen? You get bad reviews—but in the age of Trump, it will be over in a day.”


On ending “The Oprah Winfrey Show”: “I started thinking about the times: where we were, would I be able to take it digital. People were moving into ‘I want to be able to watch it when I want to watch it,’ and the 4 o’clock hour was no longer must-see television. I could feel that happening with the audience. Their behaviors were shifting, and the media world was changing. I had written something in my journals years before: ‘I never want to stay too long in the ring so I end up punch-drunk.’ I didn’t want people saying, ‘She shoulda quit that show three years ago!’ I didn’t want to be the person chasing a phenomenon. And that is what the Oprah show was. All the right elements came together at the right time. That won’t happen again. People would ask me, ‘Who will be the next Oprah?’ And the answer is: ‘There won’t be.'”


On the initial naivete with creating OWN in 2011: “Ohhhhhh, I was so misled in my thinking. I thought I was going to create a network that was Super Soul Sunday all day long. I thought I was going to bring this spiritual consciousness–awakening channel! And I soon learned: Ain’t nobody care about that. And the people told me: We’ll listen to you on Sunday, but that’s it. I was going to be the Anthony Bourdain of spirituality. I was going to go from country to country interviewing people in backwoods, in igloos, on mountaintops all over the world, bringing you a look at spiritual consciousness. And honeeeey chiiiild, didn’t I learn! Oh, my God. America is not ready to be awakened in that way! So what I learned is, you got to give them—what did I call ’em?—snackables! You need snackable spirituality—snackable, digestible moments in an entertaining format, so people can receive it.”


On her favorite place to unwind and explore: “I am telling you: If you want to expaaand yourself as an individual on the planet Earth, New Zealand’s the place to go. The people are 100 percent present. They are not walking across the street on their cellphones. Every single corner you turn, there is some breathtaking something or other going on: Lakes! Glaciers! Eagles! It’s crazy.”


On why she never married Stedman Graham: “Nobody believes it, but it’s true. The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together.’ We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world. His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that.”


On getting older: “In your 40s, you’re coming into it, you’re intellectualizing things, and you kind of know it and you feel it. But there is a deepening and a broadening and quickening of the knowing that happens in your 50s. Maya Angelou used to say to me, ‘The 50s are everything you’ve been meaning to be.’ By the time you hit 60, there are just no…damn…apologies. And certainly not at 63.”


Images: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

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