(Photograph: Gabrielle Union/Twitter)
Gabrielle Union, the 40-year-old actress, recently defended Kim Kardashian, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant when describing what it means to be a mean girl.
"If you ever made a comment about Kim Kardashian during her difficult time and her pregnancy, you're a mean girl. If you ever said something about Lebron or Kobe," Union recently said on "Access Hollywood." "Like a backhanded compliment, that's bad behavior. That's mean girl behavior.It can be how we choose to communicate through insults and negative imaging and put downs and reveling in gossip or just finding comfort in someone else's misery."
Oprah Winfrey, 59, featured Union and fellow actresses Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad on her popular OWN Network show "Oprah's Next Chapter." Winfrey recently took to her website to let others know how she was recently inspired by Union while promoting the upcoming episode.
Earlier this year, Union received the Fierce and Fearless Award at Essence magazine's annual Black Women in Hollywood pre-Oscars luncheon. During her acceptance speech, Union was honest about negativity in Hollywood.
"We live in a town that rewards pretending," Union told the attendees at the luncheon. "I used to revel in gossip and rumors. I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt, whose shine diminished my own. I took joy in people's pain and I tap danced on their misery."
The media maven said her jaw dropped when she heard the actress speak.
"(She)had our rapt attention," Winfrey revealed on Oprah.com. "A minute later my jaw literally dropped (I was sitting next to Iyanla [Vanzant] who turned to me and whispered, 'Close your mouth.'"
Winfrey thought Union's honesty was something worth mentioning.
"I had never heard anyone be that honest in public or private about the competition and fierce drive to be seen and succeed in Hollywood," Winfrey wrote about Union. "That competition is even more charged for women of color because of the dearth of roles. So I was inspired by Gabrielle's speech to break open the truth and have a real conversation."
Union admitted that being honest about her past behavior felt good.
"I just sort of explained that journey though my [Essence Black Women In Hollywood] speech and Oprah happened to be in the audience and that's sort of where this discussion came from," Union said. "It felt good to be honest."