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Rae Dawn Chong backtracking over Oprah Winfrey attack

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Jul 19, 2013 | 12:07pm EDT

Actress Rae Dawn Chong has backtracked over racially-charged comments she made about her former The Color Purple co-star Oprah Winfrey, insisting her statements had been taken out of context. Chong hit headlines on Friday (19Jul13) after comparing the legendary TV host to a slave during an expletive-ridden interview she conducted with America's Matty P's Radio Happy Hour. In the chat, The Constellation star opened up about her feud with Winfrey, claiming she was "lovely" when they appeared together in the 1985 period drama, but turned into a "total b**ch" when Chong landed a role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando later that year (85). Chong then began ranting about Winfrey's looks, insisting she is "enormously insecure" about her features and adding, "If you look at the way (Winfrey) looks, she looks like 60 years ago she would have been a house keeper luckily. (But) she would have not been a house n**ger, she would have been a field n**ger." However, the actress is now attempting to smooth over her controversial comments by suggesting the racial slur was meant as a compliment and not an insult - although she stops short of issuing an actual apology. In a video statement released on Friday afternoon, she says, "I just want to say out of context it's a most unfortunate choice of words and I regret it. In context I was actually complimenting Oprah. So if you have a chance, you should watch the whole interview. Do I have issues with her? Yes. Am I perfect? No. Do I take back everything I said? No."

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