Dear Sheila Johnson, You Got Words for Oprah and OWN, Huh?
So y’all know I LOVE me some Oprah. I am a self-admitted STAN. Mother Oprah is IT and I heart she. Oprah’s my mentor in my head and I’ve been in the audience of her show twice. I was mad salty both times because I was praying it’d be the Favorite things one both times, since I went in November. But alas… *shakes fists*
I was minding my own business when this little gem came to my attention from The Root’s site.
It’s from an interview that the former co-owner of BET, Sheila Johnson, gave to NPR. She had a little bit to say about Oprah Winfrey’s new OWN channel:
“The only advice that I say, let’s open up your circle a little bit more. You know, we love the Dr. Phils. We love the Suze Ormans. Let’s open up. There are other people. And there’s also African-American experts out there that I think she should start bringing on her show that can reach even a wider audience.” And I think she really should do that and not be afraid to do it. There’s really a lot of great experts out there that really know the businesses at hand. And I’d like to see her open up her circle to do that.”
And THAT has earned her this week’s sternly-worded letter.
Dear Sheila Johnson,
Oh really? I mean, “hey girl!” Let me not be rude (before I get slightly rude) and say hey. But since I got that out the way. I gotta be real with you, Sheila J. I’ont even know where you get off saying all that you said about Oprah Winfrey’s Network.
First of all, aren’t you part of the team that sold BET to Viacom? For a billion dollars, you handed over the reins to a channel that was supposed to be for us by us, and made it for us by them. Did you NOT give BET to the same people who own CBS? I believe you did. Now tell me… what right do you have to be shading Mother Oprah on HER channel?
Oh, OWN isn’t diverse enough for you? You don’t see enough people with melanin on there? Well we see PLENTY of melanin-blessed people on your channel, but it probably does more damage to our public perception than anything else since it is basically self-approved Blackface at times. And furthermore, diversity isn’t just about seeing variances in ethnicity and skin color, Sheila. Onliest people your former channel appeals to right now is people with a love of white tees. And tweety bird tattoos. And colored contacts with multicolored weaves. So diverse is not what it is.
Your channel had a show called “UnCut” and played a video where a credit card got swiped through someone’s crack. PLEASE know that you lack sold ground to talk about how someone else is running theirs.
Yes I understand that you’d like to see more Black faces on OWN. We’re awesome. We should be everywhere you wanna be (like MasterCard) BUT do we need to be the focus of her channel? Not necessarily. Someone who looks like ME now owns her OWN channel called OWN. THAT is powerful. Just cuz we’re not all ALL THROUGH it doesn’t mean it’s not for US, or it’s not diverse. I mean, Jay-Z was the first subject of her Master Class. Can she get SOME credit?
Besides, I thought Oprah was creating a channel to be GOOD entertainment. She never mentioned a need to entertain just Black folks.
People always tryna sit up there and act like Oprah s’posed to pay their child support and student loans because she’s Black. SHE’ONT KNOW YOUR LIFE! She owes none of us anything besides not shaming the community. Folks think cuz they ain’t got no pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, Oprah’s s’posed to build them a kitchen. Oprah can’t turn your tap water into moscato and folks get a lil miffed by it. #WhyUMadDoe? Folks refuse to even give her credit for all the things she HAS done in the Black Community.
Iunno where I was going with that but you know I love me some Mother Oprah! I just had that rant in my spirit.
Anytwho, Sheila… don’t try to come for Oprah’s non-wig about her channel that just launched when the channel you created is now (and has been for a while) a 2-dimensional trashamockery of an outlet. Only thing BET got going for it right now is The Game (which I will be watching tonight).
I. DON’T. HAVE. TIME.
P.S. Besides, you had Lil Duval on your channel, Sheila. You lose just for that. (-__-)
Anyways, what do you all think?