"You cannot be my friend and use [the n-word] around me," Winfrey said of the racial slur. "It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. … I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree."
According to Parade, Lee Daniel's "The Butler" raises questions about race in America as it chronicle's one black man’s years of service in the White House on the midst of a tumultuous civil rights movement.
"I did it to have the opportunity to work with Lee," Winfrey says of taking on the role. "I also did it because Gloria represented to me every woman of that era who sacrificed herself … never bringing her own dreams to fruition because family took precedence over everything. It’s a story many have not seen with black people in these roles, because usually we’re one extreme or another. But to see that we are people who love our children, who have the same aspirations as everybody else—I just love that."
Starring Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, Alex Pettyfer, Terrence Howard, Forest Whitaker and Winfrey, Lee Daniels' "The Butler" hits theaters August 16.
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