As one of the stars of the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma, Oprah Winfrey certainly has protests over racial inequality on her mind. Both the Michael Brown protests in Ferguson, Mo. as well as the Eric Garner protests in New York have justifiably gotten significant national attention, and in the press tour leading up to the movie Oprah has naturally been asked about how she sees the two relating to one another.
In an interview with People, Oprah commented on what she sees as both positives and drawbacks of the civic action surrounding these two controversial recent cases. “I think it's wonderful to march and to protest,” she said, “and it's wonderful to see all across the country, people doing it…What I'm looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we're willing to do to get it.’”
Selma is a movie that highlights King’s leadership in getting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed, and is obviously something Oprah feels very strongly needs to happen today. “I think what can be gleaned from our film,” she said, “is to take note of the strategic, peaceful intention required when you want real change.”
The movie has been very well-received thus far in its limited release, earning Golden Globe nominations for Best Drama, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Director, and Best Original Song. It will hit theaters nationally on January 9.