- (Photo: O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine)
Oprah Winfrey may inspire a number of people with her philanthropic work but the media maven recently revealed that actress Gabrielle Union inspired her.
Winfrey, 59, will feature Union and fellow actresses Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad on her popular OWN Network show "Oprah's Next Chapter." However, 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 will join her fellow actresses to discuss how the world sees them and how they see themselves on Sunday's "Oprah's Next Chapter" at 9 p.m.