Everyone knows who Oprah Winfrey is, and likely, a fair amount about her. But somehow, listening to Oprah never gets less compelling, and we find ourselves learning something new every time we tune in. On the new Apple TV+ documentary series Dear…, out June 5, Oprah reflects on her momentous career path, and the moments of connection that pushed her to reach for what she wanted along the way. Told through a series of impassioned letters from viewers, the series explores the individual lives Oprah has touched — and how they’ve touched her right back. The series shows us that Oprah isn’t just driven because she’s fearless (although wow, is she fearless); she’s driven out of genuine love and compassion.
Oprah gets into details of her TV career that made us gasp — like the story about how her very first co-anchor tried to run her off the show, or the pushback she got for refusing to pit talk show guests against each other. But what this series makes crystal clear is that each of Oprah’s career choices along the way — not to mention her overwhelming determination — came from a desire to love and be loved, and a sense that she could build that for herself in television.
Describing the seminal The Oprah Winfrey Show and its incredible community of viewers, Oprah admitted that her compassion for others, which won her so much fame and success, was always tied to what she felt she lacked as a young girl.
“I ended up in life giving what I most needed for myself,” she explains. “Because I didn’t get the love that I believed I deserved, I used the platform to try to give it to every person I encountered. And the irony of it all is, for a little girl who grew up not feeling loved, I have felt really, truly embraced and loved by people I’ve never met.”
It’s safe to say the world loves Oprah right back, and the eye-opening moments of this docuseries will remind you why. Here’s what we learned about this icon from Dear…