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Oprah on Paula Deen: ‘It All Just Felt Kind of Sad’

Oprah Winfrey is sharing her thoughts on Paula Deen’s swift fall from grace.

Winfrey and Deen became acquaintances when the media mogul interviewed the butter-loving chef for an episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter in March 2012.

In recent months Deen witnessed her multimillion-dollar culinary empire crumble after she admitted in a videotaped deposition to using the N-word in the past. She lost  lucrative deals with Walmart, QVC, Target, The Food Network and many others.

While on the promotional trail for her upcoming movie “The Butler,” Winfrey shared her thoughts with Entertainment Tonight on Deen’s controversy.

“In the very first days I tried to reach her, and then I decided to stay out of it as I saw it blowing up. In time she will be fine. For me, it all just felt kind of sad.”

Winfrey added a “real conversation” can happen after the “dust settles” a bit.

Speaking on her own experience with racism, the actress said: “It shows up for me if I’m in a boardroom or situations where I’m the only woman or I’m the only African- American person within a hundred mile radius. I can see in the energy of the people there, they don’t sense that I should be holding one of those seats. I can sense that. But I can never tell, is it racism? Is it sexism?”

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