Robin Roberts Fully Believes Poet Amanda Gorman Will Be President One Day (Exclusive)
By Mona Khalifeh
Amanda Gorman has Robin Roberts' vote! ET spoke with the Good Morning America host ahead of her new 20/20 special, Amanda Gorman: Brave Enough With Robin Roberts, about Gorman's quick-rising career and the possibility of the poet becoming president one day. Roberts told ET that the moment she saw Gorman at President Biden's inauguration in January, she knew the 23-year-old would be the next "It" girl.
"I remember my phone blew up [with] people asking, 'Are you watching?,' family and friends, and I want people to remember the feeling they had watching her and wanting to know more about her," Roberts shared. "I am so grateful that we're pulling back the curtain, and yeah, is she the 'It' girl? Absolutely, but you know what, she's so much more than that."
What impressed Roberts the most about their sit-down interview was how intentional Gorman is about what she does and who she is.
"How intentional she is and not being calculated or anything like that," the TV host said of what struck her about the young poet. "Her fashion, she's intentional with that, her poetry, everything about her. She has turned down millions of dollars in endorsement opportunities because it does not speak to what she wants her voice to have, and for a 23-year-old...I'm 61, I wouldn't turn down that kind of money. But for her to have that presence of mind. Her authenticity, her true authenticity really...stayed with me."
But Gorman wasn't just an overnight success. In the special, Roberts reminds viewers that the 2021 Met Gala co-chair worked hard to get where she is today.
"She is handling fame exceedingly well, better than most people could, but we have to remember she put in the work," Roberts maintained. "She had things that she was doing beforehand, we just happened to get to know her, the majority of us, on January 20 and she has this mentor, Oprah Winfrey, so when you have a mentor like that, kind of shepherding you and showing you, and the fact that Amanda wants to be mentored and she wants to mentor young poets that are coming up."
With that mentorship and motivation, there's nothing Roberts thinks Gorman can't do, including a future presidential run. And it's not the first time Gorman has discussed making a bid for office. The first National Youth Poet Laureate covered WSJ. Magazine's Fall Women's Fashion Issue in August, where she revealed that she's been eyeing the country's highest office since she was 11, when a teacher jokingly suggested the idea.
"I asked her, are you gonna be brave enough in 2036, and she didn't even bat an eye," Roberts said of Gorman occupying the country's top office. "She knows that's when she is going to run for president. And her response to the question when I asked her what would she do now if she were president to heal us, speaks to why this woman is going to run for president, and why she may very well be president."
ET also spoke to Roberts about her Discovery+ series, Last Chance Transplant, which tells six deeply personal stories about organ donation, a topic Roberts had her own experience when she underwent a bone marrow transplant to fight off a rare blood disorder.
"I'm very grateful to Vanderbilt Transplant Center in Nashville for allowing us to see the work that they do and the difference that it makes in so many lives. I know this personally. I had a stem cell transplant in 2013, 2012. My sister was my donor. I was told I only had one to two years to live if I didn't have a successful bone marrow transplant," Roberts explained. "Last Chance Transplant talks about how this is a last chance for many people"
She continued, "But it really hit home for me, because of knowing the difference it made in my life. My sister set me up on being my donor."
Amanda Gorman: Brave Enough With Robin Roberts – A Special Edition of 20/20 airs Sept. 15 on ABC and Last Chance Transplant premieres Sept. 22 on Discovery+.