I GET IT, SHE’S POLARIZING. This is often the case for anyone who regularly voices their opinion on hot-topic matters of the day and anything falling within earshot of the political arena. I have friends on both ends of the political spectrum who wish she’d keep her opinions to herself and just go away. You know, “You’re way past your fifteen minutes of fame expiration date. Go buy an island and learn how to make frozen daiquiris.”
But that’s not how she rolls. She has a voice, and she uses it for good—helping others who may be trapped in a situation of not being able to speak their mind and need to be heard. Oprah Winfrey has that voice. She also has great wealth that has allowed her the opportunity and luxury to help underprivileged children in Chicago, previously uneducated girls in Africa, and now, the multitude of women and girls who have had little or no voice in the music industry.
“I lost respect for Oprah back in the 80s,” a female friend of mine said recently, “when she was telling people how to raise children that she, herself, never had.” While I understand where my friend is coming from, I cannot agree with this logic. While we cannot literally experience all that life has to offer us, surely we can have an opinion on matters that do not affect us directly. Sadly, this happens every day in the political system as men in government positions have their say on women’s issues.
After 25 years hosting the Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired daily in nearly every market across the country, Winfrey taped over 4,500 episodes. That’s 4,500 HOURS! It is inevitable that she ticked off virtually everyone at some point. Honestly, if my words were recorded over the course of 25 years and 4,500 hours, the world would have documented proof of just how inaccurate and insensitive I can be too.
Serving as Executive Producer, Winfrey is currently part of a team creating a documentary that shines a spotlight on the issue of sexual assault in the music industry that’s set to debut on Apple Plus this year. According to the Los Angeles Times, the film is about “a brilliant former music executive who grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the music industry.”
The documentary singles out music mogul Russell Simmons who recently expressed his denial of any wrongdoing from the standpoint of sexual assault, and publicly called out Winfrey saying, “I don’t understand why Oprah is going after black men. No Harvey Weinstein, no Epstein, just Michael Jackson and Russell Simmons this s–t is sad,” he wrote.
Simmons is right. Winfrey is targeting a particular group in this soon-to-be-released documentary falling under the theme of the #MeToo movement.
She’s singling out monsters.
Therefore, let’s stand with this woman and carry the voices for those who have little or no voice of their own.
Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in the fall of 2020. Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and fb.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor