For years, I watched Oprah Winfrey. As a matter of fact, I remember when she first came to Chicago. Like everyone else, I loved her spunk. She was different. And she was a REAL BLACK WOMAN. Not some light-skinned or mixed chick. Who had a personality that was pure gold. I was hooked. Not a day went by that I wouldn’t miss her show. A faithful viewer was I…until Dr. Phil came on her show; and that’s when the shift began–in me. I tuned out. For 10 years. Until 2005, when I decided to check out to see what had changed. A lot had. She seemed to have come back to her senses and put on some really good shows until she ended her show.
That was then.
Oprah launched out her own Network in January in 2011 to 80 million viewers. It got off to a rocky start, trying to find a niche and it found it when Tyler Perry signed on in 2012, debuting The Haves and Have Nots, it’s most successful show to date. Oprah’s Next Chapter, a distant second. There are over 24 shows to date. All of them successful.
So…why don’t I like her?
Well, it really was implanted in me when my first cousin, Vincent and his then girlfriend, Eva, were invited by me to attend the Oprah Winfrey Show back in 1992. Yes. I took it upon myself to call for reservations. Got them. And gleefully invited my fam. When I called Vincent and told him that I had got reservations, I barely even had to ask, he was so excited that I even mentioned her name. Of course, when I finally did, he most definitely accepted, then called Eva. I told him the date of our show and what time we had to be at the studio. You have to arrive at least 3 hours ahead of taping. Well, on the date of the show, we drove to the studio–found it very easily. There were people standing in line around Harpo Studio. Vincent parked the car and we hurried to get in line. As we eased our way into the line, the people were very chatty. Excited about seeing Oprah. We were too. We waited and talked until we got to the front of the line. The door usher asked for our names. She looked on a list that was on a clip board that she held. She found our names and directed us to go in. As we entered the lobby, we liked the studio. It was not as big as you’d expect but it wasn’t small either. Another usher directed us upstairs where we were to wait until it was time for our audience to be taken in for our taping. Well, we found seats and sat. We chatted away…excited, and feeling adventurous. At first, I wasn’t really paying attention but then…as I looked at the clock up on the wall, I realized that we had been sitting for quite some time. A few minutes later, another usher came out and told us that there would be a delay in taping–but we could enter the studio and find a seat. We did so. We sat there. More time passing. Mind you, we had been there since 8:30 a.m. and it was approaching 10:15 a.m. Where was Oprah? Long story short, we sat under those hot lights until 10:30 a.m. And THEN!!! She appeared. The Queen had arrived. The audience roared. Long story short, our story was about women who had controlling husbands. Nothing exciting. No celebrities. Just a bunch of white women complaining how unhappy they were to be living in luxury. It was a bore. The real excitement were the rude white folks that sat around us. A blond haired woman had got up during the question segment of the show and a chick in back of me started talking s###. She really was. The blond triggered her insecurity and she got belligerent. When I turned around to see who she was. Damn! Her face was covered in red blister pimples. That was it! Jealous white chick vs Blond. Then, some fat white woman got up with her skinny husband addressing the panel of bored rich women, talking about her skinny husband was so controlling. Blah. Blah. Blah. Some white dude behind us started making fun of the fat white woman. White men hate fat white women. And he was rude. Crude. And unapologetic. Had the nerve to yell, “Why don’t you sit down you big, fat cow?! Vincent, Eva, and I, were floored. We didn’t know if we should laugh or be sarcastic. This show really was boring. I wan’t happy. Then…it ended. Hallelujah! The ushers appeared again. They instructed each section to stand up when directed and make their way to the stage. We were told that Oprah would not sign autographs but she’d shake our hands and of course…people could talk to her. She appeared again along with her staff. As we waited to get up to where she was…I looked around, feeling like, I really am here. We finally go to her. When I got up to her, I asked her something (can’t remember); and as I looked into her eyes, a very negative feeling came over me. It was strange but profound. I was a bit confused. When we left, that was the thing I remembered about that day.
All of these years later, it took some serious observation, but why I don’t like Oprah has everything to do with what she perpetrates: An infallible image with many secrets that we’ll probably never know about. Oprah has many flaws. She’s calculated her narrative but there are many things she’s left out. I don’t really know who this woman is. After all of these years.
But! No one dare challenge Oprah.
No one is infallible. NO ONE!
That’s what makes a real Queen.