You have so much cultural power. Short of running yourself in 2020 …(Shakes her head no.)… how do you use it?
Right now, I’m studying the field. I’m reading Shortest Way Home by [Pete Buttigieg], I call him Buttabeep, Buttaboop. (Laughs.) The name’s either going to really hurt or [really help] — I think it’s going to help, actually. Just the other day, I was at Apple with Spielberg and we were in the hallway talking about, (employing a dramatic voice) “What are we going to do?” And I said, “Have you heard of this Butta guy?” He goes, “No, Butta-who?” I go, “Buttabeep, Buttaboop. Look him up…”
You factored prominently into Apple’s first programming presentation in late March. What will you do for them that you can’t do at OWN?
Apple exposes you to a whole lot more people. The thing that I’m really, really excited about — as I said that day — is creating the world’s largest book club. And if I want to do a film or a doc series … The best place for [my docuseries on mental health] is not on OWN. Because you don’t have the bandwidth and you have to create a completely different audience and then you have to have marketing.
One of your other Apple projects will be about sexual abuse in the workplace. If you’re successful, what will you have revealed?
My mission is always about letting other people know, “You’re not alone.” Obviously, we’re going to do the women in Hollywood and in the music business, but what was important to me was to be inclusive of waitresses and factory workers and nurses and nuns and people who you’d never imagine, so that the world can see themselves in their stories. I’ve been adamant that if you only tell the Hollywood story, you can only be partially heard…
What else do you want to tackle as part of the Apple collaboration?
I don’t want to be in a daily rhythm of trying to come up with people to interview, but when there are people who are of the culture — like, last year, I would’ve wanted to sit down and have a conversation with Christine Blasey Ford. Right now, I’d probably want to sit down and talk to Butta.
I knew it was coming back to Butta.
My take: Because they’re in a billion pockets, y’all, a billion pockets.