I have no idea how it started, but Rae Dawn Chong has been a FilmDrunk comments meme for about as long as I can remember, so I always get a little excited when her name comes up in real life. Today it was TMZ bringing news of the Tommy Chong offspring, who I can’t remember seeing since she delivered the classic line “these guys eat too much red meat!” in my all-time favorite Arnold movie, Commando (though IMDB tells me she was in both Jeff Who Live at Home and Cyrus).
So what’s she up to these days? Well, she made TMZ this week for saying her former Color Purple co-star Oprah Winfrey would’ve been a field neighbor back in the day. (Neighbor being a nice substitute word). Jeez, this is the worst Where Are They Now ever.
Rae Dawn — who’s part black [thanks for clarifying, TMZ] — appeared on “Matty P’s Radio Happy Hour” and talked about how her personal relationship with O went from good to really REALLY bad back in the 80s.
RDC says Oprah was “lovely” to her back on the set of Purple in 1985 … but when Rae moved on to her next movie, “Commando,” that’s when she says O became “a total biotch.”
“I starred in Commando. And she just wasn’t having me. She’s competitive. She didn’t like me. She just wasn’t having me.”
“If you look at the way [Oprah] looks, she looks like 60 years ago she would have been a house keeper luckily. She would have not been a house n**ger she would have been a field n**ger.”
So she would’ve been a field neighbor… in 1953? Hmm. It’s hard to debate hypotheticals, but that seems unlikely. Oprah was born in 1954, by the way, so it is a hypothetical. Just barely. Anyway, I won’t disparage Rae Dawn Chong’s grasp of history, but I will say that the microphone she was talking into should’ve been a dead giveaway that people would eventually hear what she was saying. Oops!
Since then, Rae Dawn Chong has released a video clarifying that she meant calling Oprah that as a compliment, so I guess everything’s cool now.
Sure, sure, I always invoke slavery terms when I’m complimenting my friends. “Damn, Steve, you got an arm like an Israelite, dog,” and so forth. Totally normal.