TV

Oprah fires back against claims she's exploiting Henrietta Lacks

Oprah Winfrey at the premiere of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

Oprah Winfrey at the premiere of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"  (Reuters)

Oprah Winfrey shot down claims that she exploited Henrietta Lacks by making an HBO movie about her life.

The late Lacks’ son, Lawrence, has claimed Winfrey and HBO should cough up some cash for using his mother’s story.

But Winfrey — who executive produced and starred in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” the story of how Lacks’ cervical cancer cells lead to a major scientific breakthrough — said that she’s not on the hook.

“Do I think the Lacks family should have been paid for all of those cells by all the millions of drug companies in the world who have used those cells…of course they should have,” she told reporters at the premiere hosted by HBO CEO Richard Plepler, “Do I think that its now my responsibility or HBO to compensate for that, no. It was our job to bring the story to light and it is a shame that they were never compensated. But I will tell you this, Deborah [Henrietta’s youngest daughter] to her dying day never cared about the money she just cared about her mother and her story being told.”

Click here to read more in the New York Post.