The tweet was posted during the Golden Globe ceremony, in which Winfrey gave a rousing speech that has ignited speculation that she would run in the next election. Host Seth Meyers even joked about the prospect in his opening monologue.
But the network later put out a statement saying that it was posted by a third-party vendor.
“The tweet was sent out by a third party agency for NBC Entertainment in real time during the live broadcast. It is in reference to a joke made during the opening monologue and not meant to be a political statement. We have since removed the tweet,” a network spokeswoman said.
The tweet drew immediate attention, but also some criticism from President Donald Trump’s supporters.
Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, wrote, “For anyone who ever doubted media bias against conservatives I present exhibit A: @nbc.”
Winfrey’s speech has drawn speculation that she is actively considering a presidential run. A spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment, but her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times that she would “absolutely do it.”