When you’re Oprah, you can have almost anything you want. At the snap of a finger, you can commission a unicorn stable to be built on your estate. Call up Domino’s and in about 45 minutes somebody will show up at your door with a pizza in a box as if you were royalty! But, alas, no amount of money or power will give you the one thing you crave most of all: a stroll in the park with Kid Rock. Not everybody loves you, Oprah. That’s what we’re getting at. As the expression goes “Dislikers Gonna Dislike,” and this is especially true when you’re dealing with famous people with fragile egos. So who precisely has put you down on their arch-nemesis list? Lots of celebrities. But since we know you don’t have all day, we’ll narrow it down to our seven favorite Oprah feuds.
1. Angelina Jolie
After Oprah opened a private school for girls in South Africa, she figured Angelina Jolie might be interested in promoting it since she’s really into African causes. So imagine Oprah’s surprise when she was snubbed. See, Oprah isn’t used to being turned down for anything, not even by other influential celebrities. So what was the deal? Well, remember when Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston? Not really? Okay. So, Brad Pitt was once married to Jennifer Aniston. Then he met Angelina Jolie on the set of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and she really swept him off his feet. Braniston or Jitt or whatever they were collectively called was history. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Oprah was sympathetic towards Jennifer, and Angelina was none too happy about this. I mean, yeah, Oprah taking Jolie’s side and hosting a “Roast of Jennifer Aniston For Having the Nerve To Be Dumped By Brad Pitt” might have been a rating bonanza. But fortunately, we’re better than this as a society. Or are we?
2. Chris Brown
Chris Brown is known for three things: having a really boring name, being a talented singer, and having serious anger issues. After he physically assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna, Oprah warned that he would do it again. Brown, seeing himself as the real victim in all this, insisted that Oprah should have been more supportive of him since he had helped promote causes important to her. Do you hear that sad violin music? It’s all in your head.
3. Janet Jackson
When Janet’s brother Michael died in 2009, Oprah invited his children onto her show to talk about whatever it is they were going to talk about. Ms. Jackson wasn’t too thrilled with the idea, feeling that Oprah was capitalizing on MJ’s death and using the kids for the sake of publicity. Janet even said the whole idea made her “sick.” Now that’s just nasty talk right there!
4. Joan Rivers
The late and, um, ‘great’ comedienne was no stranger to celebrity feuds. Kristen Stewart. Rihanna. Kim Kardashian. Gwyneth Paltrow. The list goes on and on, but let’s be honest, who cares? Back in the mid-80s when Oprah was just making a new show for herself, she appeared on Rivers’ talk show and things got off to a pretty rough start when Joan made some mean-spirited jokes about Oprah’s weight. But before you all march off to her tombstone with torches and pitchforks in hand, remember that if you had been Joan Rivers, you would have said the exact same thing since you would have been Joan Rivers. See the logic?
5. David Letterman
The 20-year Letterman/Oprah feud was pretty nutty. It was a glorious clash between the most powerful daytime talk show host versus the late night talk show legend. Why did Oprah refuse to appear on his show or even utter his name? According to Letterman himself, he and his then-girlfriend were vacationing when they happened to notice Oprah eating in the same restaurant. Ever the prankster, Dave had the waiter send their bill to Oprah, claiming she had offered to pay for their lunch. While the Queen of Talk might be worth a zillion dollars, she still didn’t find this to be particularly funny. But don’t worry; the two buried the hatchet. They would subsequently appear on each others’ shows, and even star in a couple of Doritos commercials that aired during the Super Bowl.
6. Ice Cube
All the kids these days generally only know Ice Cube (or just “Cube” if you’re too impatient to say the “Ice” part) as the middle-aged Black dude who appears in wholesome, family-friendly comedies. But he was once a hard-core gangsta known for messing around and still getting a triple-double. Evidently, Oprah and her legion of suburban housewives couldn’t let this go, even though it’s been almost 30 years since Cube has released a legitimate hit. He noticed that even as his co-stars would be invited onto her show to promote a movie, no such invitation was extended to him. We have to side with Ice Cube on this one. Promoting Barber Shop 5: Yep. Still Barber Shopping without its main star is like serving a peanut butter sandwich without peanut butter, or some much, much better analogy.
7. 50 Cent
Half Dollar (or 50 Cent if you truly insist that we use his actual rap name) had a beef that is not far dissimilar from that of Ice Cube’s. In an interview with Elle magazine in 2006, Two Quarters even called Oprah an “Oreo,” stating that while she got her start addressing important issues affecting the Black community, she had essentially sold out to the white, predominantly female audiences that watched her show. When given a chance to discuss this with Oprah, Four Nickels and Three Dimes noted that she never promoted anything related to hip-hop culture and when she discusses problems in Black society, she seemed to suggest that his music was part of the problem.