'What size are you, by the way?'
It was recently announced that she would be sitting down for an exclusive, tell-all interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – in what will be the couple's most significant piece of press since stepping down from their roles as senior working royals. But in the past few days, Oprah has been facing some controversy of her own.
The veteran TV interviewer has recently come under fire for a 2004 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show in which she asked a teenage Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen what clothing size they were.
At the time of the interview, which has recently resurfaced on TikTok, rumours had been circulating that then 17-year-old Mary-Kate was suffering from an eating disorder. Later that year, the child actress-turned-fashion designer spent time in a rehab facility to receive treatment for a health-related issue.
“I know a new rumour [that’s] recently surfaced has really upset you, right?” Oprah said to the sisters. “You know, the one about eating.”
To which Ashley replied: “Yeah, you know people are gonna write what they’re gonna write. We try not to read the good or the bad because it just comes with the territory. Either you’re too fat, too skinny and people are just gonna write what they–”
But she was interrupted by Oprah, who asked: “What size are you, by the way?”
Which left both Mary-Kate and Ashley looking uncomfortable.
“Size?” Ashley responded, with the twins insisting that they were both “petite”.
“Oh, that’s so interesting,” Oprah jokingly responded to laughter from the studio audience. “That is so interesting, I’m obsessed with size and you’re like, ‘I really don’t know.’”
“If we were obsessed with our size it’d be, I don’t know, a different story,” Mary-Kate replied.
TikTok users were quick to point out how uncomfortable the interview was.
'I know we’re living in different times, but how did they think that was okay!?! [Because] they’re young?' read one comment.
'Ashley answering for MK because she knew she was uncomfortable,' another user pointed out.
However, others came to Oprah's defence, highlighting that 2004 was a long time ago.
'To bash her for something that happened 17 years ago is so stupid,' commented one person on Twitter.
*For information, support and advice on eating disorders, visit Beat.
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Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. She studied fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins, and her byline has also appeared in Dezeen, British Vogue, The Times and woman&home. In no particular order, her big loves are: design, good fiction, bad reality shows and the risible interiors of celebrity houses.
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