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That Viral Clip Of Oprah Eating Unseasoned Chicken Seems A Bit Off: An Investigation

A now-viral video shows the media mogul trying a chicken recipe that won a $1 million prize despite having no salt or pepper. But was it really unseasoned? And was she actually eating chicken?
Oprah Winfrey in 2006, clearly trying to choose her words wisely.
Oprah Winfrey in 2006, clearly trying to choose her words wisely.

There’s something a little fishy about an Oprah Winfrey clip involving unseasoned chicken.

Over the weekend a tweet that features an old clip from Winfrey’s former talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show” went viral.

The 2006 clip features the media mogul eating a chicken recipe that Anna Ginsberg submitted to the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest and won her a $1 million prize.

In the undeniably funny video, Winfrey looks confused after trying the dish and asks if it has salt and pepper. Ginsberg says it doesn’t. Winfrey looks flustered by this but after a moment kindly says, “I think it’s delicious, is what it really is.”

After the clip went viral, Lady O felt obliged to respond and posted a video on Instagram explaining that she always wanted the guests on her show to have a good experience but also wanted to “stay in my own truth while allowing them to have that good experience.”

But the 64-year-old Winfrey ultimately gave the people what they wanted and shared how she really felt about that dish, saying, “The truth for me was that I’m used to having salt and pepper on my chicken. That’s just the truth. That’s what I was thinking. This chicken needs some salt and pepper.”

It’s all very cute, making the viral nature of the tweet completely understandable.

But there’s something a bit off about this adorable fiasco, especially after one watches the old cooking segment in full.

First off, when one watches the full segment, salt and pepper are very clearly added to the chicken. Ginsberg even says, “I already have some salt and pepper on the chicken,” before adding other ingredients.

You can, at the very least, clearly see the pepper on the chicken.
You can, at the very least, clearly see the pepper on the chicken.

Furthermore, the recipe for the dish on Pillsbury.com directs users in the step for preparing the chicken, “Sprinkle with salt and pepper.”

Another odd aspect of the tweet is that in the longer video, when Winfrey first tries the dish — which was premade and not the one cooked on the show — it looks as if she’s sampling the waffle and spinach stuffing that accompanies the chicken, not the chicken itself. The stuffing does not include salt and pepper.

Ginsberg’s response that “there’s no salt and pepper in it” could be in reference to the stuffing and not the chicken.

Chicken? Waffle? Chicken and waffle?
Chicken? Waffle? Chicken and waffle?

So why does Winfrey say in her Instagram video that the chicken needed some salt and pepper?

There is a possibility that because the dish was premade for the segment, pieces of chicken were included in the stuffing. But — even after multiple viewings of the longer video — it looks as if Winfrey first tries the waffle and spinach stuffing without any chicken.

She then comments on the stuffing, saying, “But the flavor of the waffle with the onion and the spinach is good. … I’m going to get a bite of the chicken too with the glaze on it.”

After taking a bite of the chicken and the stuffing together, she declares, “Oh, it’s good with this,” her mouth filled with food. “Really good!”

It should be noted that Winfrey doesn’t say she’s eating chicken at that point in the clip that recently went viral or in the full cooking segment. The viral clip also begins with Winfrey chewing the food and not placing the food in her mouth. So those who saw the tweet didn’t see what she was eating and likely just assumed after reading the tweet that she had a bite of chicken.

That could include Winfrey herself, since she commented on the tweet 12 years after the cooking segment was shot, and the experience may be nothing more than a fragmented memory for her — especially considering the busy life she leads.

Whatever the truth may be — and as silly as this “investigation” may seem — the takeaway may be to not take everything you see online at face value. Regardless of how funny it may be.

HuffPost reached out to Winfrey for clarity but did not receive an immediate response.

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