Oprah is speaking out after “racist robocalls” impersonating her and using derogatory language were reportedly sent to Georgia voters last week ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.
The media mogul, 64, has spent the past few weeks stumping for Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s Democratic candidate for governor — attending rallies for her and even going door-to-door on the campaign trail to urge citizens to get out to vote. That work made Winfrey the target of a white supremacist group, who CNN reported was behind the calls.
“This is the magical negro, Oprah Winfrey, asking you to make my fellow negress, Stacey Abrams, governor of Georgia,” the calls said, according to CNN. They later reportedly referred to Abrams as “someone white women can be tricked into voting for, especially the fat ones.”
They ended by quoting one of Winfrey’s most infamous talk show moments. “I promise that every single person who votes for Stacey Abrams, you’re going to get a new car,” said the call, per CNN. “So you get a car! And you get a car! And you get a car! And you get a car! Everybody gets a car!”
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The antidote to Hate… VOTE your love!
A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Nov 5, 2018 at 4:23pm PST
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Responding to the call in a video on Instagram, Winfrey encouraged fans to combat the negativity with political action.
“I heard people were making racist robocalls in my name, against Stacy Abrams, who I am 100 percent for in Georgia,” Winfrey said. “I just want to say, Jesus don’t like ugly. And we know what to do about that: Vote.”
“Show up and show out and vote,” she said. She captioned the clip, “The antidote to hate… VOTE your love!”
She shared another message on Twitter, Tuesday, saying, “I woke up feeling compelled to pray for our country. No matter your spiritual practice, I pray that we ALL remain safe and free from harm. Pray then #GoVOTE!”
I woke up feeling compelled to pray for our country. No matter your spiritual practice, I pray that we ALL remain safe and free from harm. Pray then #GoVOTE!
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) November 6, 2018
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If Abrams wins on Tuesday, she’ll be the first black female governor in history. She was previously the minority leader for her state’s House of Representatives.
The Hill reported that the calls allegedly originated from a video podcasting site called TheRoadToPower.com. According to the Huffington Post, that site was also allegedly behind a racist attack against Andrew Gillum, a Florida gubernatorial candidate.
The Anti-Defamation League labeled TheRoadToPower.com as white supremacist and anti-semitic.