A tearful Oprah Winfrey has asked for forgiveness from parents following accusations of sexual abuse at the talk show host’s school for underprivileged girls in South Africa. “I’ve disappointed you. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” said Winfrey during an emergency meeting at the school. At least one student claims to have been fondled by a teacher, and others say they were physically abused. The principal and two teachers at the school have been suspended as a result of an investigation. Winfrey has offered counseling, as well as her personal phone number, address, and email address to the students.
What the commentators said
This was not Oprah’s fault, said the blog ConnieTalk.com. “There is a bad apple on every tree. Even if you shake the tree, the bad apple doesn’t always fall out.” The fact that Oprah apologized just shows what an amazing person she is. It’s not her “responsibility to apologize for someone else’s misconduct, but she did it anyways, because she cares!”
This is going to be hard for Oprah, said Megan Rellahan in the BayouBuzz.com. “As a victim of sexual abuse” herself, Oprah “puts an enormous amount of energy into taking the steps needed to protect children” from “heinous” crimes like “child molestation.” She obviously feels awful about what happened. But “hopefully, this incident will be yet another way for Winfrey to lead us toward a better understanding of child sexual abuse, which will ultimately save our children.”
Oprah is “changing the world,” said iVillage.com’s TV Cocktail blog, but she’s still pretty easy to “make fun of.” Of course, what happened at her school was awful. “Hopefully the people who participated in the abuses have all been fired and the school can get back to teaching these talented young women—and Oprah can get back to important things like interviewing Sarah Jessica Parker about her clothing line.”