Several celebrities are coming to Gayle King's defense after the famed talk show host experienced serious backlash — including death treats — for bringing up sexual assault allegations against late NBA star Kobe Bryant during an interview with Lisa Leslie last week.
During the infamous interview, Gayle asked the WNBA star, who was friends with Kobe, if the dismissed sexual assault charges against him "complicated" his legacy.
Gayle later shared an Instagram video explaining the background of the interview. She also alleged that a lot of creative editing had been done.
Gayle's BFF, Oprah Winfrey, was one of the first to defend her. "She is not doing well," Oprah said, tearing up during an appearance on the "Today" show. "She is not doing well because she now has death threats and has to now travel with security. She is feeling very much attacked."
She backed up Gayle's claims that much of the controversy is due to how the segment was edited.
"She's not doing well and feels that she was put in a really terrible position. Because that interview had already ran and in the context of the interview, everyone seemed fine, including Lisa Leslie," Oprah continued.
Oprah admitted that she understands why people were so offended by the clip. Still, she said, her friend "hasn't slept in two days."
"Anybody can criticize anything, but the misogynistic vitriol to the point where it is dangerous to be in the streets alone. … Because it's not just the people who are attacking. It's the other people who feel like they can take that message and do whatever they want," she said.
Amy Schumer also jumped to Gayle's defense in a poignant Instagram post.
"I stand fiercely with @gayleking one of the most beloved journalists, mothers and friends of our time," Amy wrote. "However you feel about her interview, her receiving serious death threats is disgustingly unfair and unacceptable. Shame on you CBS for putting her in this position." She also added the hashtag #standwithgayle.
Additionally, Amy shared a post written by actor, model and musician Jaimie Wilson attempting to clarify her support of Gayle.
Susan Zirinsky, President of CBS News, also defended Gayle's approach in the interview, deeming it "comprehensive and thoughtful."
"We are a country where differences of opinion are welcome — but hateful and dangerous threats are completely unacceptable," she said in a statement. "We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist. We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible."
After Snoop Dogg seemingly threatened Gayle in a video, telling her, "Respect the family and back off — before we come get you," several more bold-faced names rallied around her, including former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
"This is despicable," she wrote. "Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won't be pretty."
One of the ringleaders of the #MeToo movement, Rose McGowan, also chimed in.
"You want to know why Kobe Bryant is a hero? He apologized to a hurt young woman," she tweeted. "Truth hurts. Death hurts. Grow the f— up. Kobe stopped hurting women, so can you."
There was also a bit of controversy due to Snoop reposting one of convicted rapist Bill Cosby's posts in which he thanked the rapper for defending black men against "successful Black Women" who are "being used to tarnish the image and legacy of successful Black Men."
"I love you bro, but please remember that Bill Cosby also victimized black women. Beverly Johnson, the first black supermodel, wrote a compelling account of how Bill Cosby drugged her and tried to rape her," former ESPN host Jemele Hill commented on Snoops re-tweet of the post. "This also was the same dude telling people that black men didn't deserve any respect because they wore their pants too low, and listened to hip hop. I'm glad he was able to present a positive picture of a black Dad, but he also was very anti-black in other parts of his life."
Snoop has since backtracked about his statement, clarifying that he wasn't threatening Gayle.
"When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family," he said. "Now with that being said, what do I look like, wanting some harm to come to a 70-year-old woman? I was raised way better than that. I don't want no harm to come to her and I didn't threaten her. All I did was say, 'Check it out, you outta pocket for what you doing and we watching you. Have a little bit more respect for Vanessa, her babies and Kobe Bryant's legacy.'"