'I never felt comfortable in my own skin'

By Maureen Lee Lenker
September 07, 2017 at 04:19 PM EDT

Oprah Winfrey may have begun her trailblazing television career as an anchorwoman, but that doesn’t mean she enjoyed the experience.

The former talk show host and media mogul got candid about her early career in an interview for TIME Firsts, explaining that she never felt she could be herself as a news host.

“I never felt comfortable in my own skin,” she says. “I always felt like I had a pretend voice when I went on the air. I would interview people who went through disasters in their life and I would feel terrible for them and I would empathize and then I would get written up by my bosses.”

It was this experience that fed her approach to her talk show, which she says was a freeing experience. “I went only from what was in my heart. It was the most authentic thing for me,” she says.

Winfrey also discussed societal changes at large and opened up about her experiences being the first woman to own and produce her own talk show.

Watch the clip above for more from Oprah.

Time

Winfrey’s interview is part of TIME Firsts, a multimedia project featuring 46 groundbreaking women. Watch the rest of the videos at Time.com/Firsts. Buy the book at the TIME Shop.

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