After hopes and hearts rose in anticipation earlier this, Oprah Winfrey made it clear she isn’t running for President by saying “it’s not in my DNA.” OK, but it sure may be in the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.
In the third to last episode of the Emmy winner’s second season, the media mogul’s voice is heard on a car radio “from somewhere in the Great White North.” Debating if she can escape the extremely repressive religious state of what was once the United States, Elisabeth Moss’s Offred listens to Oprah address the lower states in a tone and delivery that sure sounds POTUS.
“The American government in Anchorage received promises of economic aid from India and China,” proclaims what is clearly Winfrey’s unmistakable voice, though never identified in the “Holly” episode that went up today on Hulu. “In the United Kingdom, additional sanctions on Gilead were announced, as well as plans to raise the cap on American refugees relocating from Canada,” Oprah adds.
Likely the worst nightmare on many levels for the misogynic leaders of Gilead, then it gets to exactly what you would expect from a President Oprah Winfrey – in exile or not.
Now a tune to remind everyone who’s listening — American patriot or Gilead traitor — that we are still here,” Oprah declares as currently Broadway based Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 tune Hungry Heart begins to play. “Stars and stripes forever, baby.”
While her passionate speech of tolerance, love and inclusion at the Golden Globes this year had many already set to volunteer for an Oprah 2020 race against Donald Trump, the OWN boss actually has had a relationship with the series based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel that predates that occasion. A very public admirer of the show from its premiere in 2017, Winfrey was the one who handed The Handmaid’s Tale its Best Drama Primetime Emmy last fall.
“We’d heard Oprah was a fan of the show, and had a story idea, and thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if,” Handmaid’s showrunner Bruce Miller says of Winfrey’s cameo of this week coming together. “So we asked and she said yes, and it was a lovely, easy process,” the EP added.
“The radio segment she recorded was inspired by the free radio of the Allies from WW2. It was an absolute honor to have Oprah featured on the show, and especially thrilling as she was the one who presented us with the Emmy last year.”
Miller offered no indication of what role Oprah plays in the dystopian American of Handmaid’s Tale. We do know from the book and the show that the sitting President, the Supreme Court and most of the political establishment were killed in attacks that were blamed on “Islamic fanatics.” Soon after the Constitution was suspended and the path for the self described Sons Of Jacob to take over in the chaos they seemingly helped created was cleared. With almost all the rights of women and others stripped, the Republic of Gilead was declared.
The second season of The Handmaid’s Tale ends on July 10. No word if there will be more Oprah, President or not.
The Handmaid’s Tale is produced by MGM Television and is created, executive produced and written by Miller and EP’d by Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Ilene Chaiken, and Moss.