Oprah Winfrey was convinced to edit out a comment she made in an interview which her producers felt was offensive to gay people.

Last September, while speaking to author Terry McMillan and her former husband, Jonathan Plummer, who came out as gay, Winfrey told Plummer that “you seem gayer than you were the last time”.

When Winfrey previously interviewed Plummer he was still married to McMillan and identified as straight. Their relationship was the subject of McMillan’s bestselling novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

The debate over the comment was documented in a newly-released behind-the scenes-video clip. In it, Winfrey at first defends the comment to her concerned public relations head Lisa Halliday, who tells her that the statement is “very naive”.

“My intention was not to be inappropriate, my intention was to say, ‘you have obviously come out and come out in a very big way and now you are feeling your ability to be your authentic self,'” says Winfrey.

Bemused, openly-gay producer Carlos King explains to Winfrey, however, that: “It implies that gay is an action and not who you are as a human being. Like being black is who you are – you’re born black, you’re born gay.”

She then also canvasses the opinion of her hair stylist Andre Walker, who agrees that some people might find the comment offensive.

Winfrey finally says that she decided to cut the comment from the episode’s broadcast because “gay people would know better than I” if the statement was offensive. “The gay contingent here in the building said to me ‘you’re wrong’… So I was wrong.”

AfterElton’s Michael Jensen commented that “…what I most appreciated was Oprah saying, ‘Hmm, I’m straight so perhaps I’m not the one best equipped to answer this question. Let’s ask some gay folks!’ And she didn’t ask just one, but several! If only more folks thought that way.”

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