It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for Seal. On Wednesday, the “Kiss From a Rose” singer posted a meme to Instagram which appeared to take aim at our likely 46th president, Oprah Winfrey, for her cozy past with abuser Harvey Weinstein.
The two-paneled image, which has been weaponized by Fox News and other right-wing outlets to assume hypocrisy, shows Oprah being pretty friendly with Weinstein, damning in the wake of her 2018 Golden Globes speech about ending sexual abuse once and for all. “When you have been part of the problem for decades, but suddenly they all think you are the solution,” reads the two panels together. Seal added some snark in the caption: “Oh I forgot, that’s right.....you’d heard the rumours but you had no idea he was actually serially assaulting young stary-eyed actresses who in turn had no idea what they were getting into. My bad.”
Model and extremely regular person Chrissy Teigen got in the comments to suggest, well, something about Seal, or maybe just to offer a statement about Hollywood complicity in general: “Hmm. Let’s just say we’ve all heard things about each other, haven’t we?”
Seal addressed much of the controversy—except for Teigen’s comment—in a video on Facebook Thursday night. Apparently, he was taking aim at the Hollywood culture which overlooked the open secret of widespread assault for so many years, and not Oprah specifically.
“What I reposted was not an attack on Oprah at all. She just happened to be the person photographed with the pig in the picture,” Seal said. “What I reposted was commentary on the hypocritical and double standard nature and behavior of Hollywood. So Fox News—back off, but I’ll get to you later.”
Later in the video, he correctly acknowledges that many of the abusers in Hollywood are not getting served their proper justice (specifically, jail time). Then, he gets to some of the conservative players, including Fox News and actress Stacey Dash, that boosted his Oprah meme for content. “Fox News, don’t try and use me as a pawn against Oprah and any of your political games,” Seal said. “And Stacey Dash: keep my name out of your mouth. Do not retweet, requote, anything I said to reinforce your self-hating agenda. You live in the Sunken Place.”
I’m not sure that posting a meme that exclusively features images of Oprah and Weinstein isn’t an attack on her character and serves as just an indictment of Hollywood at large. I’m also not sure if we should be taking Oprah to task for a past relationship with Weinstein, when she’s taken steps to enact change and we really don’t know what she knew or when she knew it. And I’m really not sure if I want Oprah to be president (okay, probably, definitely not). But when the press and political class have set the bar so, so fucking low, am I honestly going to question anything that’s an improvement?