‘The Color Purple’ Fans Tease Obama for Adding It to His Year-End Movies List Late: ‘Someone Just Got a Call From Oprah’

The former president’s annual list of favorite flicks includes “Rustin,” “Leave the World Behind” and “American Symphony”

Barack Obama attends the premiere of Netflix's "Descendant" at the 2022 African-American Film Festival
Barack Obama attends the premiere of Netflix's "Descendant" at the 2022 African-American Film Festival (Credit: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama became the butt of an online joke after he was late to adding the hit musical film “The Color Purple” to his list of favorite movies in 2023.

On Thursday — a day after posting a lineup of his 13 favorite movies from this year — Obama went back to his post to share that he made a retroactive addition, after seeing the Fantasia Barrino-starring adaptation from producer Oprah Winfrey.

“Update: I just saw ‘The Color Purple’ and loved it. I’m adding it to one of my favorite movies of the year,” Obama wrote.

Finding humor in the situation, user on X began a running joke that Obama’s late-in-the-game addition came after a perturbed call from Winfrey herself.

“Barack Obama when Oprah called him five minutes after his favorite movies of the year list released,” one user wrote.

“What am I doing? I’m talking to an empty telephone. Cause there is a dead man on the other end of this f—n line,” another user wrote in a quoted tweet of Obama’s post alongside a meme of Winfrey on the phone.

In reality, a call between Winfrey and Obama wouldn’t be too shocking, as they’ve historically had a longstanding relationship. Winfrey was one of Obama’s main supporters during his campaign for presidency in 2007, fully endorsing him and making her first campaign appearances for him at the time.

In addition to poking fun at the 44th commander in chief, people also mentioned their favorite films from the year, including George C. Wolfe’s “Rustin,” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Among Obama’s initial list were titles “Rustin,” “Leave the World Behind,” “American Symphony,” “The Holdovers,” “Blackberry,” “Oppenheimer,” “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Monster,” “Past Lives,” “Air,” “Polite Society” and “A Thousand and One.”

“The Color Purple” made its premiere on Christmas day. The film was directed by Blitz Bazawule and stars Barrino, Halle Bailey, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Ciara and more.

Check out more of the responses to Obama’s amended list in the roundup below.

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