The actor recently took to Twitter to speak out against the popular talk show host, sharing a photo of Winfrey kissing the disgraced Hollywood producer on the cheek.
The photograph of the pair was taken at the 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.
McGowan – an early #MeToo activist who accused Weinstein of rape – accompanied the photo with a caption reading: “I am glad more are seeing the ugly truth of @Oprah. I wish she were real, but she isn’t.
“From being pals with Weinstein to abandoning & destroying Russell Simmon’s [sic] victims, she is about supporting a sick power structure for personal gain, she is as fake as they come. #lizard.”
Simmons – a hip-hop music mogul – has been accused of more than a dozen cases of sexual assault or misconduct since November 2017. He has responded by admitting “inappropriate conduct” in some instances but has disputed the allegations of non-consensual sexual interactions.
The Independent has contacted representatives for McGowan and Winfrey for comment.
McGowan’s remarks appear to have been prompted by a clip of a 2003 interview Winfrey conducted with Dolly Parton that went viral over the weekend.
People criticised Winfrey’s line of questioning, in which she asked the country star about getting “work done”.
“You’ve been open that you’ve had some work done, some tucks and pulls and sucks,” said Winfrey at the time.
Parton replied: “Yes I have and I’ll have some more when I need them.”
Winfrey also raised Parton’s experience with depression, stating she heard the singer went into a “huge depression” when she turned 40.
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The clip sparked a wider discussion on the talk show host’s former friendships with Weinstein and Simmons.
In January 2020, Winfrey announced that she was stepping down from her role as executive producer on a documentary that highlighted the stories of Simmons’ accusers.
Explaining her decision, Winfrey said that “there is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured, and it has become clear that the filmmakers and I are not aligned in that creative vision”.
She added: “I will be working with Time’s Up to support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.”
Winfrey has previously spoken about her past friendship with Weinstein who is currently serving a 23-year sentence in prison for two rape convictions.
The Beloved star said she “didn’t know” about the allegations against the producer at the time, but acknowledged that she knew he was a “bully”.
“I was in Chicago, in my own little world, but what I knew about Harvey was that Harvey was a bully and that if Harvey’s on the phone, you didn’t want to take the call because you’re going to get bullied in some way,” she said.
Weinstein has been found guilty on two convictions: rape in the third degree and criminal sexual act in the first degree.
He is currently facing additional charges of sexual assault in a Los Angeles court and has pleaded not guilty.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.