- Oprah Winfrey
- Before The Oprah Winfrey Show
- Oprah’s Success
- The Other Side of Oprah
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Howard Rosenberg a TV columnist said, “She’s a roundhouse, a full course meal, big, brassy, loud, aggressive, hyper, laughable, lovable, soulful, tender, low-down, earthy and hungry. And she may know the way to Phil Donahue’s jugular.” Newsday’s Les Payne noticed, “Oprah Winfrey is sharper than Donahue, wittier, more genuine, and far better attuned to her audience, if not the world” and Martha Bayles of The Wall Street Journal wrote, “It’s a relief to see a gab-monger with a fond but realistic assessment of her own cultural and religious roots.”
In the beginning years of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the episodes were categorized as a tabloid talk. Oprah then took on a less tabloid-oriented model, in the mid 1990s, hosting shows on broader topics such as spirituality, heart disease, geopolitics, and meditation. She interviewed celebrities on public issues they were immediately participating in, such as cancer, charity work, or substance abuse also hosting televised giveaways.
Oprah’s final show was scheduled for May 26th 2011. It was a two part episode with celebrity guests and surprises, she herself didn’t know about. In addition to her talk show, Oprah also produced and co-starred in the 1989 drama mini-series “The Women of Brewster Place”, as well as a short-lived television show, “Brewster Place.” In addition to hosting and appearing on television shows, Oprah co-founded the women’s cable TV network Oxygen. She is also the president of Harpo Productions, which is “Oprah” spelled backwards. Oprah and Discovery Communications revealed plans to replace Discovery Health Channel, On January 15, 2008, into a new channel called OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The new network planned to launch in 2009, but was postponed, and actually began on January 1, 2011.
Oprah Winfrey’s Celebrity interviews
Oprah hosted a very rare prime-time interview with Michael Jackson, in 1993. The show turned out to be the 4th most watched event in American TV history in addition to the most watched interview ever, with an audience said to be 36,500,000. Oprah made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, December 1, 2005, to advertise the up and coming Broadway musical The Color Purple, of which she was a producer. That day she joined the Letterman for the 1st time in sixteen years. The show was said to be the “television event of the decade” and assisted Dave by attracting his largest audience in over eleven years: 13,450,000 viewers. The big rumor of a feud between the two was said to have been because of the “dissociation” both Oprah and Letterman rejected at such talk. “I want you to know, it’s really over, whatever you thought was happening”, said Oprah. David Letterman made his 1st appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, On September 10, 2007, as the show’s season premiere was shot in New York City.
Oprah on Rap
Rappers Ludacris, 50 Cent and Ice Cube, in 2006, criticized Oprah for what they felt as an anti-hip hop prejudice. In an interview with GQ magazine, Ludacris said that Oprah gave him a “hard time” about his lyrics, and took out remarks he made for the time of his appearance on her show with the cast of the motion picture “Crash.” Ludacris also alleged he was not originally invited on the show with the rest of the cast. Oprah replied by stating that she’s against rap lyrics that “marginalize women”, but likes some rappers, embracing Kanye West, who appeared on her show. She said she talked with Ludacris offstage after his appearance to illustrate her position on the situation, and said she understood that his music was based on entertainment intentions, but that some of his audience might take it literally. On 9/24/09 Oprah had Jay-Z on her show to discuss his up bringing and his rise to the top. Oprah actually went to the Marcy Projects, where Jay-Z grew up and did an interview for her magazine.
Oprah and the President of the United States of America
Oprah obtained criticism In September 2008, after Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report stated that Oprah turned down Sarah Palin on her show apparently due to Oprah’s encouragement for Barack Obama. Oprah denied the report, declaring that there never was a conversation about Palin coming on her show. Oprah said that after she made it well-known of her encouragement for Obama she made it absolute that she wouldn’t let her show be used as a stage for any of the runners. In spite of the fact that Obama made appearances twice on her show, these appearances were before he declared himself a candidate. Oprah also added that Sarah Palin would make a wonderful guest, and that she would love to bring her on the show after the election, which Oprah did on November 18, 2009. Oprah was criticized in 2009, for having the actress Suzanne Somers make an appearance on her show to talk about hormone treatments that are not approved by mainstream medicine.
The Wall Street Journal invented the expression “Oprahfication”, meaning, public divulgence as a form of therapy. By confessing intimate details about her turbulent love life, weight difficulties, and sexual abuse, and crying with her guests, Time magazine tributes Oprah with inventing a new type of media communication recognized as “rapport talk” as different from the “report talk” of Phil Donahue: “Winfrey saw television’s power to blend public and private; while it links strangers and conveys information over public airwaves, TV is most often viewed in the privacy of our homes. Like a family member, it sits down to meals with us and talks to us in the lonely afternoons. Grasping this paradox …She makes people care because she cares. That is Winfrey’s genius, and will be her legacy, as the changes she has wrought in the talk show continue to permeate our culture and shape our lives.”
Commentators have also noted the “Oprahfication” of politics such as “Oprah-style debates” and Bill Clinton actuality illustrated as “the man who brought Oprah-style psychobabble and misty confessions to politics.” Newsweek declared: “Every time a politician lets his lip quiver or a cable anchor ’emotes’ on TV, they nod to the cult of confession that Oprah helped create.” Oprah’s admissions about her weight also paved the way for other plus-sized women in television such as Roseanne Barr, Rosie O’Donnell and Star Jones.
Phil Donahue has been accepted as originating the “tabloid talk show” genre. Oprah’s passion, intimacy and personal admission, popularized and adjusted this same genre. Oprah’s accomplishment of popularizing the tabloid talk show genre has started up a flourishing industry that had included The Jenny Jones Show, Ricki Lake, and The Jerry Springer Show.
Oprah Winfrey and the Gay Community
In the 1980s, during a show, members of the studio audience rose up 1 by 1, gave their name and revealed that they were gay in practice of National Coming Out Day. Furthermore, in the 1980s Oprah took her show to West Virginia to challenge a town with AIDS paranoia on account of a homosexual male living in the town with HIV. Oprah interviewed the man who had changed into a public outcast and the town’s mayor who drained a swimming pool in which the gentleman had gone swimming, and argued with the town’s hostile residents. “But I hear this is a God fearing town”, Oprah reprimanded the homophobic town; “where’s all that Christian love and understanding?”
In an episode on gay marriage in the 1990s, a woman in Oprah’s audience rose up to complain that gays were continuously parading their sex lives, and she proclaimed that she was tired of it. “You know what I’m tired of”, responded Oprah, “heterosexual males raping and sodomizing young girls. That’s what I’m tired of.” Her counter-argument inspired a screaming standing ovation from the audience.Oprah played the therapist in “The Puppy Episode” In April 1997; on the sitcom Ellen DeGeneres said she was a lesbian. Mark Steyn in the National Review wrote, in 1998, of Oprah “Today, no truly epochal moment in the history of the Republic occurs unless it is validated by her presence. When Ellen said, ‘Yep! I’m gay,’ Oprah was by her side, guesting on the sitcom as (what else?) the star’s therapist.” Oprah also popularizes openly gay celebrities on her show, such as her hairstylist Andre Walker, cosmetics artist Reggie Wells, and interior designer Nate Berkus. Nate inspired an outpouring of compassion from Middle America after grieving the death of his partner in the 2004.