Oprah Winfrey and friend/host Gayle King are upset with their fans, for calling them "auntie."
Calling a woman "auntie" is a term of endearment in the African American community. In many places around the world—from India to Africa to Hawaii—placing the title "Auntie" or "Aunty" before someone's name who is not your actual aunt is seen as a sign of respect. It's also common in Black culture here in America—for instance, when an older Black woman achieves something great, on Twitter, you can expect to see plenty of tweets reading: "Yasssss, Auntie So-and-So!"
We can all agree that it's best to be respectful of our elders—after all, in her time, Dr. Maya Angelou didn't hesitate to correct any youths who called her by her first name. But in a recent interview, When They See Us director Ava DuVernay sparked a debate about whether or not calling someone who is not of a certain age Auntie should be considered ageist.
But Oprah and Gayle don't like the term one bit.
In fact, the two power ladies feel so strongly about it, that they took to social media - to warn fans NOT to use that term on the ladies.
Here's the post:
Here's what Oprah had to say to Orah magazine:
"I cringe being called Auntie or Mama by anybody other than my nieces or godchildren," Oprah says. "Except if I’m in Africa, where it’s the custom for everybody to refer to anyone older as 'Sister,' or 'Auntie,' depending on the age difference. And there, no one refers to anyone older by their first name, out of respect."
Here's Gayle's take - also to Oprah magazine:
"I hate being called Auntie. That’s what you say to old people or the old lady who lives in the neighborhood!" says our editor at large. "I get that it’s a sign of respect, but no one's calling Beyoncé 'Auntie Beyoncé!' The only ones who should be calling me 'Aunt' are my niece and nephew—and they don't add the ie."