Seal claims Oprah Winfrey meme 'was not an attack on Oprah at all'
Seal slammed Clueless star Stacey Dash, Fox News, and other critics in a video he recorded about the controversial Oprah Winfrey meme he shared on social media — a meme that he claims "was not an attack on Oprah at all."
"Now let's get straight to it. Let me start by saying that I have an enormous amount of respect for everything that Oprah has achieved and contributed in her life," the "Wishing on a Star" singer said in the video posted to his Facebook page. "What I reposted was not an attack on Oprah at all. She just happened to be the person photographed with the pig [referring to Harvey Weinstein] in the picture. No, what I reposted was commentary on the hypocritical and double-standard nature and behavior of Hollywood."
The meme in question featured photos of Winfrey with Weinstein, the now-shunned Hollywood mogul accused of decades of sexual harassment and sexual assault. (Weinstein has publicly denied any instance of non-consensual sex.) "When you have been part of the problem for decades, but suddenly they all think you are the solution," the meme read.
Seal added in the caption, "Oh I forgot, that's right….. you'd heard the [rumors] but you had no idea he was actually serially assaulting young [starry]-eyed actresses who in turn had no idea what they were getting into. My bad. #SanctimoniousHollywood."
Many, including Chrissy Teigen, saw this as an attack on Winfrey, who denounced sexual harassers in a speech at the Golden Globes. "Hmm. Let's just say we've all heard things about each other, haven't we?" the model wrote in the comments section.
Continuing his attack on the hypocrisy in Hollywood, Seal said, "To those of us who support the Me Too movement, just know this: not one of the women who have been sexually abused, not one of the women who have come forward has received any real justice whatsoever. Losing your job because you either a) raped, b) sexually abused, or even sexually harassed a woman is not real punishment. You steal from the postoffice, you go to jail. And #realtalk for a second, we all know what would happen to any of those power abusers if they looked like me."
The singer also responded to users who claimed he was being "an Uncle Tom" and "a brother tearing a sister down" by sharing the meme.
"So let me get this straight," he said, "in order to promote social-awareness dialogue on this particular subject, I repost — not create, but repost — a meme that appeared on my social feed, and now all of a sudden it's ‘a brother tearing down a sister' issue? Let me make something abundantly clear to you: I am English born, but don't get that [sings] 'Baby' kiss from a rose stuff twisted. See these scars on my face? My parents are from Africa — more specifically, Nigeria — and I am about as black as you will ever get."
He further slammed Fox News for trying to "use me as a pawn against Oprah."
"And, Stacey Dash," he said, "keep my name out of your mouth. Do not retweet, re-quote anything I have said in order to reinforce your self-hating agenda." Referencing Jordan Peele's Golden Globe-nominated Get Out, he added, "You live in the Sunken Place."
Dash had tweeted of the story, "Ouch, he does make a good point though."
"Again, this was not an attack against Oprah," Seal continued. "This was an observation of the toxic nature of Hollywood, and I believe a conscious people are a progressive people."
He finished his video by applauding the victims of sexual abuse who have come forward: "What you did takes real courage and please keep showing that courage and please keep coming forward because that's the only way that we get to solve this thing. We talk about it, we open dialogue, we solve it. For the rest of us, I've got some new ones for you. How about #WeAllKnew? How about #TelltheTruth? How about #Accountability?"
Watch Seal's full response in the video above.