“‘I don’t think that people should show off their wealth.’”
Shock jock Howard Stern has a few choice words when it comes to Oprah Winfrey and her considerable riches.
On his SiriusXM show earlier this week, Stern said that, “Oprah’s not embarrassed by her wealth at all,” and accused her of flaunting it on social media in a way that he wouldn’t do.
“You see her estates, her gardens, the people who service her and, you know…She’s got servants and, like, people cooking and it’s f—ing wild,” he said. “She knows how to be rich…She kind of likes to show it off, which is something I’m not comfortable with. I don’t think that people should show off their wealth.”
Still, Stern implied he wasn’t playing the sour-grapes card — and with houses located everywhere from the Hamptons to Palm Beach, he probably has no reason to complain about his standard of living.
Rather, Stern drilled down on the fact Winfrey, in his view, lacks a certain humility. As he told his co-host Robin Quivers, “Well you gotta be a little self-aware and know that there are people struggling out there, Robin. You got to.” Stern went on to note that Winfrey can probably go grocery shopping without leaving her home, because there’s “a farm back there” in her backyard.
Stern’s comments got some immediate pushback. Some on Twitter asked why he wasn’t calling out other wealthy individuals like Amazon AMZN, -0.68% founder Jeff Bezos, who’s used his considerable wealth to go to the edge of outer space, for example.
“If I grew up the way Oprah did, and had worked as blisteringly hard as she has, I would show it off, too,” added another on Twitter.
On The Root website, author Shanelle Genai suggested that Stern might simply be jealous of Winfrey.
In a commentary titled, “Dear Howard Stern: Please Keep Oprah’s Name Out Your Mouth,” Genai said, “What is it about a Black woman enjoying the literal fruits and vegetables of her labor that really bothers you? Is it because you feel like, even with all the work you’ve put in over the years, you’ll never reach that level of wealth?”
Genai also wrote that Winfrey is a billionaire known for philanthropy. “Let’s not act like she’s out here being flashy and showing off her latest bust down Patek, SS23 Chanel Couture fits, or brand-new Bugatti every three-to-five business days,” she said. “But even if she was — IT’S HER MONEY and she can spend it how she wants.”
MarketWatch reached out to Winfrey for comment through her Discovery WBD, -1.39% -affiliated Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), but didn’t receive an immediate response.