Oprah Winfrey has been targeted by online trolls for quite some time now, most especially in the wake of fallen Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein‘s recent legal trouble. Those same trolls spread a false rumor that the media mogul’s home was raided in connection to sex trafficking claims and for being diagnosed with COVID-19, which has her name trending on Twitter.
To try and connect all the swirling rumors as everyone has immediately believed what was said without even a hint of a police report, some Twitter users have been saying since March 15 that Winfrey’s home was raided, that she was stricken with coronavirus, and that another home was seized. Other sources state that this implausible and stupid story was drummed up by QAnon followers, many of whom have it out for liberal celebrities and are ardent supporters of President Donald Trump.
This inspired many of the 66-year-old billionaire’s detractors to ramp up the rumor train and made mention of the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland which painted the late entertainer in an unflattering light. Winfrey’s connection to Weinstein was also mentioned in high number by the online trolls who couldn’t wait to pounce on anything resembling a loss of credibility or assumed criminal activity.
Winfrey posted a tweet in the wee hours of Wednesday morning (March 18) to state that none of the chatter on social media is anything connected to the truth and that she’s been keeping herself quarantined and minding her business.
“Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody,” Winfrey posted.
Ava DuVernay blasted the online trolls for egging this nonsense on with a tweet of her own.
“Trolls + bots began this disgusting rumor. Mean-spirited minds kept it going. #Oprah has worked for decades on behalf of others. Given hundreds of millions to individuals + causes in need. Shared her own abuse as a child to help folks heal. Shame on all who participated in this,” the famed director tweeted.
Check out some of the unhinged responses from the trolls and bots that DuVernay mentioned below, which largely drowns out the sensible people who saw through this mess.