I started this entry with a lot of good arguments to support my anti-Winfrey sentiment. Like a good journo should, I went to research the facts before spitting them out. What I found, put me to shame. I have therefore abandoned the pseudo comical yet invidious entry inspired by recent viewings of the show. I’ve changed tack slightly.
Oprah Winfrey, born Orpah Gail Winfrey adopted the now infamous brand name (Oprah) due to the difficulty in pronouncing her original name. The ‘p’ and the ‘r’ were interchanged. A lot of people love her. The hype surrounding her is unbelievable. Unfathomable. A black woman has managed to stay on the airwaves, celluloid and now in print for almost 2o years, and given her personal history deserves all credit due her way.
My only beef with her (and this is a recently raised sentiment, I used to be an avid Oprah-er (short for Oprah lover)) is the commodotisation of self awareness, spirituality, love, guidance and even religion. I take personal issue with the fact that she has an opinion on EVERYTHING and find her shows have now become self serving entertainment. I mean how awesome would it be to get people and issues on your show that interest you, couple them with some fun props, activities and gift bags and just sit around to have a good ‘ol yarn. Really, do we not have anything better to do with our time?
I’m also never a big fan of people worship. Which is what I find a lot of the Oprah audience do. There seems to be a communal/global (?) attitude toward Oprah that invokes a sort of sacred reverence of this deity like character-enterprise. Stupid shows breed stupid audiences, or do stupid audiences instigate the creation of stupid shows? A new twist to the “chicken and egg” debate.
I used to find Oprah interesting, informative and insightful. Not to mention humble and genuinely interested in bringing “real issues” to the fore front. I’ve not found her to be this lately. And those are my objections to the enterprise that is Oprah (her charity missions not withstanding).
Respect where its due, Oprah has over come severe personal, social and economic hardships. She’s set up charities and done tonnes of good, and continues to do so. Not to mention the personal lives of people she’s improved. But I just find hero worship and audience cues to ooh, ahh, hold solemn minute of silence, clap, cheer and cry trite and really rather insulting.