TV talk show star Oprah Winfrey has finally broken her silence regarding Paula Deen’s “N” word scandal. “I think Paula Deen was used as… a symbol,” she told Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell. “I think lots of people use that word inappropriately all the time.”
Deen, who is a good friend of Winfrey’s and has appeared with her on television many times, was recently embroiled in controversy after a court deposition was made public, revealing that she had admitted to using the “N” word.
Winfrey has surprisingly left the scandal mostly untouched up until now, though she did, in an interview with Parade shortly after the incident, say, “You cannot be my friend and use that word around me.”
Speaking on Entertainment Tonight, she said, “For her to… go on the air and to actually say that that was the only time she’d ever used it when your deposition says something else — I think that’s what got her into trouble.”
Winfrey doesn’t yet have any plans to sit down with her for an interview, but said that it’s a possibility “when she’s ready to talk.”
“In time, she’ll be fine,” she said, confident that the scandal will fizzle out as people start to forget about it. “For me, it all just felt kind of sad.”
Watch the clip from the interview below.