The entertainment world hasn't thought much about Rae Dawn Chong lately, but now she's become the latest celebrity trying to backpedal away from an N-word controversy.
In a radio interview, Chong -- a veteran of 1980s movie hits like "Commando" and the daughter of comic Tommy Chong -- launched a tirade against Oprah Winfrey, her costar in 1985's "The Color Purple."
Chong -- whose ethnic makeup includes Afro-Canadian and Cherokee roots -- attacked Winfrey for everything from being too fat to too black.
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"Sixty years ago she would have been a housekeeper, luckily," she said on "Matty P's Radio Happy Hour." "She would have been a field [N-word]."
While she did concede that Winfrey's achievements are "amazing," that amounted to faint praise given the scorching criticism. For instance: Winfrey is a "great brown-noser," Chong said, adding: "If you were in a room with her, she will pick the most powerful person and become best friends with them."
And this: "She was that fat chick in school that did everything and everybody loved her. That's Oprah. Love me, love me, love me."
In other words, she concluded, Winfrey is a "vile" "bee-yotch."
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Within hours of TMZ posting audio on Friday of her attack, Chong, 52, was attempting to quiet the waters with a YouTube video -- which recalled celebrity chef Paula Deen's initial pullback after her N-word controversy last month.
See, what Chong really wanted to do, she explained in the video, was praise Winfrey, but her words got all twisted by the media. "Thanks, TMZ," she said sarcastically. She also name-checked the Trayvon Martin case in noting how unfortunate the timing of her remarks has proved to be. "Out of context, it's a most unfortunate choice of words and I regret it," Chong said. "Do I take back everything I said? No."
What does Oprah say -- assuming she still remembers Chong? An email to a representative remained unanswered Friday afternoon.
What do you make of Chong's remarks and her subsequent sort-of apology?
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