Outspoken British rapper M.I.A. has slammed Oprah Winfrey for allegedly ignoring her pleas to help raise awareness of the secret war between Sri Lankan government forces and her fellow Tamils.
The Paper Planes hitmaker, real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, is a longtime Tamil activist whose family hails from the war-torn country, and she has long been vocal about the plight of her fellow Sri Lankans, accusing the nation's government of engaging in systematic genocide.
M.I.A. met Winfrey at a Time magazine party in 2009 and attempted to use the opportunity to convince the TV star to support her cause, but she claims the Selma actress wasn't interested in talking to her and rudely brushed her off.
In a candid interview with Rolling Stone magazine, M.I.A. says, "In 2009, Time nominated me for one of the most influential people of the 21st century or something and I met Oprah at that party. And I was like, 'Hey, people are gonna f**king die in my country. Like, please pay attention.'
"She was like, 'You're s**t because you were rude to Lady Gaga and I'm not talking to you. And I'm gonna interview Tom Cruise jumping on my sofa, so f**k off.'"
The pair smiled and took a photo together at the event, but M.I.A. insists their conversation wasn't friendly at all.
She continues, "She didn't talk to me. She shut me down. She took that photo of me (sic), but she was just like, 'I can't talk to you because you're crazy and you're a terrorist.' And I'm like, 'I'm not. I'm a Tamil and there are people dying in my country and you have to, like, look at it because you're f**king Oprah and every American told me you're going to save the world.'"
M.I.A. didn't limit her disdain to Winfrey - she also took aim at ex-boyfriend Diplo in the revealing Rolling Stone chat, accusing the producer of spoiling her big break by constantly putting her down.
She adds, "When I got signed by Interscope, he literally smashed my hotel room and broke all the furniture because he was so angry I got picked up by a major label and it was the corniest thing in the world that could possibly happen...
"I wish I enjoyed it because I had this person on my shoulder the whole time saying, 'It's s**t, it's s**t, it's s**t. You shouldn't be on the charts. You shouldn't be in the magazines and you should not be going to interviews. You should not be doing collaborations with famous people. You should be an underground artist.'
"It's only now when I look back at it in 2015, I can see that he was just jealous and he couldn't wait to be Taylor Swift's best friend and date Katy Perry. But at that time, I believed him."
M.I.A. dated Diplo for five years before she went on to date multi-millionaire Benjamin Bronfman, the father of her son Ikhyd.