'Still in any storm'

Oprah Winfrey ‘could not believe’ Gayle King’s composure during R. Kelly interview

Oprah Winfrey attends the 2016 Essence Black Women In Hollywood awards luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 25, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Rich Polk/Getty)

Gayle King has earned accolades for remaining calm and collected during R. Kelly’s unhinged rant during their recent interview on CBS This Morning. The latest viewer to sing her praises? King’s close friend — and this year’s Women in the World keynote speaker — Oprah Winfrey, who revealed to an audience of 10,000 at the recent Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit that she saw the interview and “could not believe it.”

Winfrey said that a student at her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, who aspires to one day become a journalist, texted her to say that “Auntie Gayle” had achieved her “broadcast goals.” But Oprah said she told the girl that King’s feat went beyond good journalism.

“The fact that she was able to sit there and be still with all of that hysteria means that she can be still in any storm,” Winfrey told the student. “That’s not just about being a good journalist.”

Many viewers seemed to agree. The now-infamous interview—and particularly a still image of the enraged singer towering over King—has come to illustrate the broader issue of male power and aggression. Winfrey was quick to congratulate her friend for refusing to let Kelly’s rage derail the interview, but she wasn’t surprised.

“I’m so happy for her to have this moment,” Winfrey said, according to Quartz, “because she has been in television for as long as I’ve been in television, and now people are seeing how great and strong and beautiful she is. I’m really excited for her.”

Oprah Winfrey will appear onstage at the 2019 Women in the World New York summit. Click here for more information, and here to secure your seat.

Read more at Quartz.

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