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Oprah Winfrey: 'Level of disrespect' shown to Obama linked to race

Nov. 16, 2013 at 2:08 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Oprah Winfrey says the "level of disrespect" shown in some criticism of President Obama could be because of his race.

In an interview with the BBC, Winfrey was asked directly about attitudes towards Obama, The Hill reported Friday. Winfrey was promoting "The Butler," the movie about a black butler at the White House.

"Just the level of disrespect," Winfrey responded. "When the senator yelled out, 'You're a liar!' Remember that?"

Winfrey was recalling a 2009 episode when U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson called out "you lie" while Obama was addressing Congress. Wilson apologized for the outburst.

Obama is to present Winfrey with the Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor on Wednesday. Winfrey, born poor in Mississippi, has parlayed success as an actress and talk-show host into a media empire that made her the first black woman to become a billionaire.

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