"Lee Daniels' The Butler" not only tells the story of a butler who served eight U.S. presidents, it also tells the story of America's civil rights movement. The film features one of the most hated and controversial words in the English language. Anderson spoke with the film’s stars, Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, about the use of the "n” word, in the movie and in American culture.
Oprah Winfrey's new movie "Lee Daniels' The Butler" is sparking a new debate over the use of the "n” word. Oprah told Anderson that she doesn't use it partly because that was the last word some of her ancestors heard when "they were strung up to a tree." But plenty of other people use it freely. Wolf discussed this with B.E.T. editorial brand manager Michaela Angela Davis, and Andre Perry, the founding dean of urban education at Davenport University.
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" is inspired by the real-life story of a man who served as the butler to eight U.S. presidents. It also marks Oprah Winfrey's first film in 15 years. Anderson spoke to her and co-star Forest Whitaker. Oprah says one of the reasons she chose this film as her big screen return is its backdrop of America's civil rights movement.
"The Butler" is one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year. The film is inspired by the real-life story of Eugene Allen, who served as the butler to eight U.S. presidents. Anderson sat down with the film's stars Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker. "The Butler" is opening in theaters in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin. According to Oprah, this movie "brings context to the discussion" started when Martin’s death first made headlines.
Check out a preview of their discussion.
You can see more of the interview tonight on AC360 at 8pm and 10pm E.T.
Take a look behind the scenes:
"The Butler" is one of the most hotly anticipated films of the Summer. It tells the story of Eugene Allen, who served as the butler to eight American presidents. Charles Allen is his son, and Wil Haygood wrote the book that inspired the film. They both spoke to Anderson about this extraordinary story.
Renowned film critic Roger Ebert hasn't been able to speak for the past four years, but that doesn't mean he's been silent.
The Chicago-based author still pens film reviews, posts updates on his online journal, and offers his picks for the Academy Awards, as he did on Tuesday's "Oprah Winfrey Show," using a computer-generated voice that sounds remarkably similar to his own.
Until recently, Ebert communicated with hand signals and monotone text-to-speech software.
When Ebert sat down for an interview for Esquire magazine's March issue that chronicled his life since he lost his voice to thyroid cancer, he said he had used an English voice with his text-to-speech software, which he named "Lawrence." But "Lawrence" had a tendency towards odd phrasing and Ebert ultimately settled for something more generically American.
Editor's Note: Today, Oprah Winfrey confirmed on her show that the 25th season will be the last. The final show will air on Sept. 9, 2011. Take a look at this roundup of Oprah's most memorable moments.
Oprah.com: Oprah through the years
EW.com: 12 most memorable shows (Entertainment Weekly)
Oprah Winfrey made it official on air today: on Sept. 9, 2011, she pulls the plug on the talk show that has dominated daytime TV for two decades. Says the Queen: "Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and feels right in my spirit." Mo Ryan has the full statement. (In related news, Discovery announced a launch date of January 2011 for Oprah's cable channel, OWN.)
Is Oprah actually done as a daytime host, though? The assessments of Oprah's career have been rolling in as if she had died. But we have to at least consider her history of making huge decisions and later changing them. Remember her founding Oxygen, the channel for women? She was going to be heavily involved in it—maybe even move her show there—and then she wasn't. She was going to end her show in 2006, and then she didn't. She canceled Oprah's Book Club and then she un-canceled it.
I am not saying that Oprah is going to change her mind. I'm just saying that if she does change her mind, I will claim to have totally called it. Until it is actually buried, I consider Oprah's talkshow career as dead as a major character on 24.
Lisa Respers France
It seems ironic to me that it was this time of the year more than 30 years ago that I had my first “encounter” with Oprah Winfrey.
I was a little girl whose legs dangled off the pew when Winfrey appeared as a featured speaker on Sunday at my grandmother’s church in West Baltimore, Maryland. I immediately recognized her as an anchor on the local news station, WJZ, and I couldn’t believe that such a star would be standing in the pulpit of Whitestone Baptist Church.
Ordinarily church meant suffering through a sermon I didn’t understand and staring in awe at the women who – in their exuberance at being in the presence of the Holy Spirit – seemed to shout, sweat and dance the walls down.
But this Sunday I was mesmerized by Oprah.
Like any good storyteller, she started out slow, sharing tales of growing up first in Mississippi, then in Milwaukee and Tennessee. Like me, she loved to read and I felt like she was walking up and down my street when she recounted the many church plays and programs in which she had been called to perform.
I literally slid to the edge of the pew as Oprah told the tragic story of a slave woman who upon being revived from a vicious beating from her master thought she was seeing stars, only to realize it was salt on the ground which had been thrown on her lacerated back. The congregation moaned their pain and understanding of the hardships of life.
Oprah Winfrey knows how to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Knowing that viewers were tuning in to her Friday show to hear the queen of talk confirm that the "Oprah Winfrey Show" was coming to an end, Winfrey had not one, not two, but three guests on before finally announcing that the end for "Oprah" had arrived.
In other words, it was business as usual.
In an interview with Bradley Lockhart, whose 5-year-old daughter Shaniya Davis was found dead on the side of a North Carolina highway Monday, Winfrey provided the kind of heart-wrenching interview that she is known for.
Lockhart and his sister, Carey, sat down via satellite for their first television appearance since the news broke about Shaniya.
"My heart and the country's heart bleeds for you," Winfrey told them.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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