Oprah & Gayle Agree With Ava, Don’t Like Being Called ‘Aunties’ Because They’re Not ’85-Year-Old’ Elders

- By Bossip Staff

Oprah, Gayle, Ava

Source: Earl Gibson III/Wire Image / Getty

Ain’t no “Hey Auntie”…

Oprah And Gayle Talk Their “Auntie” Nicknames

Balling besties Oprah and Gayle know that you colloquially call them “Auntie Oprah” and “Auntie Gayle”—and they’d like you to stop. The duo recently chatted with Oprah’s OprahMag.com about the term after their friend Ava Duvernay admitted that being called “Auntie” isn’t her favorite.

In case you missed it, Queen Ava (she prefers that moniker) told Van Lathan during his “The Red Pill” podcast that while she gets that people respectfully refer to her as “Auntie Ava”, it’s actually a bit ageist and not her favorite term of endearment.

“Auntie Ava? Why? Am I that old?!” asked the 46-year-old. “Because I don’t feel that old! And it’s not a respect thing…Auntie Ava, like…Aunt Jemima?”

According to Ava’s fellow famous homegirls, she’s exactly right. Oprah and Gayle told OprahMag.com that the term sounds like it’s for older women—but Oprah’s okay with it in when she’s in Africa.

“I cringe being called Auntie or Mama by anybody other than my nieces or godchildren,” Oprah says. “Except if I’m in Africa, where it’s the custom for everybody to refer to anyone older as ‘Sister,’ or ‘Auntie,’ depending on the age difference. And there, no one refers to anyone older by their first name, out of respect.”

As for Gayle, she thinks the appropriate age to start using the title Auntie for an elder is “somewhere around…85.” Gayle is 64.

“I hate being called Auntie. That’s what you say to old people or the old lady who lives in the neighborhood!” said Gayle. I get that it’s a sign of respect, but no one’s calling Beyoncé ‘Auntie Beyoncé!’ The only ones who should be calling me ‘Aunt’ are my niece and nephew—and they don’t add the ie.”

So what would they prefer to be called? How about their actual names?

“As for what this trio would prefer to be called instead? Gayle responded “Gayle works!” while Oprah said: “Oprah has worked pretty well for me. Though sometimes strangers refer to me as Lady O, which feels friendly, yet respectful of the age difference. It feels appropriate.” And on Twitter, DuVernay shared that she “happily responds” to names like “Ms. DuVernay,” “Sis,” and “Queen.”

What do YOU think about Auntie Oprah, Gayle, and Ava speaking out on this term of endearment???

It’s interesting to see how these ladies are speaking out against the term when others like Aunti Loni (Love) embrace it.


We’ll take notes on Oprah, Gayle, and Ava—-we’ve DEF called all three of them “Auntie” in the past.

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