Barbara Eden on I Dream of Jeannie‘s Alleged Sexism

In the classic TV sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, an astronaut played by Larry Hagman inadvertently unleashes a 2,000-year-old genie and becomes her master. Eventually, Jeannie falls in love with her master and the two get married. Over the years, some have criticized the show for being sexist. The genie herself, Barbara Eden, disagrees.

“I never thought Jeannie was sexist,” Barbara says. “Never ever.”

“She was a genie. This was her job, and she was happy in her job,” Barbara explains. “She was a very independent creature and very strong. In fact, I have had young women come up to me and say it empowered them.”

Tune in to the season premiere of Oprah: Where Are They Now? Saturday, August 13, at 10/9c.

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