Oprah Winfrey Blames Instruction on Name Pronunciation for '60 Minutes' Exit
WENN/Brian To

Before being honored at the Empowerment in Entertainment gala, the Queen of All Media also addresses the backlash she faced for interviewing 'Leaving Neverland' cast and director.

AceShowbiz - Oprah Winfrey quit U.S. news show "60 Minutes" because she didn't like the instruction on how to pronounce her name.

The media mogul joined the weekly news programme last year (18) but quickly realised it wasn't "the best format" for her.

She tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I've removed myself from that.... It's never a good thing when I have to practice saying my name and have to be told that I have too much emotion in my name... I think I did seven takes on just my name because it was 'too emotional.' "

"I go, 'Is the too much emotion in the Oprah part or the Winfrey part?' I was working on pulling myself down and flattening out my personality, which, for me, is actually not such a good thing."

"60 Minutes" begins with contributors saying their names into a camera.

During the new interview, ahead of her latest honour - The Hollywood Reporter's first Empowerment Award at the Empowerment in Entertainment gala on Tuesday, April 30, Oprah also addressed the criticism she received for sitting down to interview filmmaker Dan Reed and the stars of his "Leaving Neverland" documentary, which detailed their child abuse allegations against Michael Jackson.

Winfrey was criticised for giving the trio airtime, but she insists she'd do it again in a heartbeat.

"I don't regret it...," she says. "I saw it (documentary), and I was shaken by it. I wasn't even shaken by the fact that it was Michael Jackson, I was shaken by the fact that Dan Reed had done a really good job of showing the pattern, and for years, I had been trying to show people the pattern."

"I'd been trying to say it's not about the moment, it's about the seduction."

The fall-out reminded her of the time she appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' sitcom in a 1997 episode, during which the comedienne revealed she and her character were gay.

"I haven't had that much hateration since 'The Puppy Episode with Ellen...' Thank goodness Ellen's coming out was before social media because can you imagine? During 'The Puppy Episode', I had to take the people who were on my switchboard at (production company) Harpo off the switchboard because of the vitriol. They were scared."

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