Williamson campaign pushes back on 'Oprah's BFF' title
© Aaron Schwartz

White House hopeful Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Biden, Sanders, Warren support dips in new poll MORE doesn’t want you to call her a “guru” or “Oprah’s BFF.”

Headlines have referred to Williamson as everything from a “self-help guru” to a “wellness guru” to “Oprah’s spiritual adviser” and “friend of Oprah’s."

But in a Tuesday press release, Patricia Ewing, Williamson’s communications director, emailed a list of “standardized facts” about the author ahead of Wednesday night’s debate among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, clarifying Williamson's job title.

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Along with Williamson’s name, age, birthplace and occupation — “best-selling author and activist” — Ewing wrote, “Not her occupation: Spiritual guru (or any type of guru). Any title that is conferred to a different religious tradition than her own."  

“Also not her occupation: Oprah’s BFF or Oprah’s guru. (Or, any title that rightfully belongs to Gayle KingGayle KingMichelle Obama to present Lin-Manuel Miranda with the Portrait of a Nation Prize Marianne Williamson: Oprah is 'absolutely not' advising me on presidential run CBS's Gayle King asks Pressley whether calling Trump 'occupant' of the Oval Office is respectful MORE.)” 

Williamson was a spiritual counselor to Oprah WinfreyOprah Gail WinfreyMichelle Obama: 'There's zero chance' I run for president Michael Moore urges Michelle Obama to run against Trump Marianne Williamson: Oprah is 'absolutely not' advising me on presidential run MORE, appearing regularly on her show, according to Vox. She is also the author of 13 books, four of which are No. 1 New York Times best-sellers.

The 2020 candidate also co-founded Project Angel Food, which delivers meals to “ill and dying homebound patients.” She also co-founded The Peace Alliance, which takes “the work of peacebuilding from the margins of society into the center of national discourse and policy priorities,” according to its website.

The Hill has reached out to the Williamson campaign.