Oprah Buries the Hatchet

By Samuels, Allison | Newsweek, April 4, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Oprah Buries the Hatchet


Samuels, Allison, Newsweek


Byline: Allison Samuels

In her frantic final hours on network TV, the talk queen is mending fences with ex-friends (Whoopi, Roseanne). It's great television. But is it genuine?

When author Iyanla Vanzant picked up her phone one afternoon earlier this year, she was stunned to find the Queen of Daytime on the line. Vanzant had good reason to be surprised. She'd once been a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, doling out spiritual wisdom and practical advice on love, life, and personal growth. But when Vanzant accepted an offer from Barbara Walters to host her own show in 1999, the friendship blew apart, with bitter feelings, unspoken words, and a call from a lawyer making it official.

Now, after 11 years, the feud has ended, with Vanzant and Oprah airing their differences last month in front of a rapt audience of millions. "We were deeply connected spiritual sisters and then things fell apart. That needed to be fixed," says Vanzant, who since leaving Oprah's universe suffered her third divorce, foreclosure on her home, and the death of her only child (all of it detailed in her new book, Peace From Broken Pieces).

Oprah is burying a lot of hatchets these days. With her show set to end May 25, she has attempted to mend fences with such famous former friends as Whoopi Goldberg, Roseanne Barr, and Rosie O'Donnell. Of course, these tearful makeup sessions are all being conducted on Oprah's stage, in front of a live studio audience. But that's part of being Oprah's friend, and besides, it makes for some great TV and even greater ratings.

Still, you can't help wondering why Oprah is even bothering to air her dirty laundry. Is it really just for the ratings? Is it because she now has a cable network, OWN, and needs a lot of chatty, familiar faces to fill the endless hours of programming? (It's worth noting that O'Donnell is already producingdocumentaries for OWN.) Or is Winfrey really hoping to teach her audience a lesson about friendship?

"We can't forget Oprah remains, in many ways, America's chief therapist, and she knows that," says Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, host of his own show on NPR. "In her last season on television, Oprah wants to model for her audience of millions the art of coming to grips with the uneasy business of repairing torn relations." Fans are lapping it up. "I really thought someone like Oprah, with all her money and fame, wouldn't care if people were mad at her or didn't like her. I mean, she's Oprah,'' says Audrey Mason, 33, a private nurse from Cleveland, Ohio.

With the clock ticking, who will she pass the peace pipe to next? Will be it rappers like Ludacris or Ice Cube, who lashed out at her for regularly refusing to have them on, even when they had big movies or TV roles to hawk?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Oprah Buries the Hatchet
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?