The Color Purple 2023 remake, directed by Blitz Bazawule, was released theatrically on December 25. The coming-of-age musical period drama film first premiered in London on November 20. Its star-studded cast includes Taraji P. Henson and Halle Bailey, among several other A-listers. Whoopi Goldberg, who portrayed Celie in the original 1985 film, made a surprise cameo. However, she was absent during the film’s premiere, giving rise to speculation about a possible feud between The View host and Oprah Winfrey, who produced the 2023 remake.
Whoopi Goldberg’s absence at The Color Purple premiere explained
The 68-year-old American comedian skipped the promotional events for The Color Purple despite her crucial role in the original film helmed by Steven Spielberg in 1985. Although many speculated the reason behind her absence was a feud between Oprah and Whoopi.
A source revealed to Page Six, “The View is pissed that Oprah avoided The View,” referring to the TV host’s decision to skip the long-running show in promoting her latest adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.
However, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the film’s director revealed why Whoopi refused to attend the premiere. “We had talked about it in her trailer a little bit, and she (Whoopi) said, ‘I’m just here to pass the baton,’” Blitz said.
“I really appreciated that, because not everybody is as benevolent when it comes to knowing that ‘The Color Purple’ is really the star here,” he continued, adding, “It was incredibly special to know that we had her blessing to move forward with this version.”
Blitz also recalled filming Whoopi’s cameo and said, “We had to stop and laugh because of everything she did, and you forget that she comes from stand up [comedy]. But more than anything, I just remember how caring and loving she was to Phylicia.”
“It was symbolic not only because of what Whoopi represents in the canon of ‘The Color Purple’, but what Whoopi represents, period – the juggernaut that she is, and the doors she kicked open,” he concluded.