Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty ImagesOprah Winfrey doesn’t need CBS’ advice when it comes to putting on a good show.
In a wide-ranging cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, the media mogul opened up about why she decided to quit her gig at CBS’ 60 Minutes. Winfrey said she knew the job wasn’t for her after she was told she was “too emotional” and felt herself “flattening out” her personality.
“It was not the best format for me,” Winfrey said. “How should I say this? [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.”
Winfrey, who joined 60 Minutes as a special correspondent in 2017, said she initially tried to meet the producer’s expectations.
“I think I did seven takes on just my name because it was ‘too emotional,'” she explained. “I go, ‘Is the too much emotion in the ‘Oprah’ part or the ‘Winfrey’ part?'”
Winfrey said the experience reminded her of the days when she was a young reporter and was given the exact same criticism.
“I had a deja vu moment because I’ve actually lived through this once before when I covered a story as a young reporter [where] the family had lost their home and my boss told me that I reported it with too much emotion,” she said. “I thought, ‘OK, so you’re not supposed to be involved in the story — I get that.'”
“But the same thing is true even with a read [at 60 Minutes],” she said. “They would say, ‘All right, you need to flatten out your voice, there’s too much emotion in your voice.’ So I was working on pulling myself down and flattening out my personality — which, for me, is actually not such a good thing.”