All Articles Tagged "oprah"
It was six years ago, almost to the day, that we learned Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball had teamed up to produce an HBO film based on the non-fiction bestseller, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” Now the premium cable channel has announced the film has officially been greenlit and Oprah will play the lead role.
According to Variety:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks, played by Winfrey, the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.
Filming is slated to begin this summer and Henrietta Lacks’ sons Zakariyya Rahman and David Lacks, Jr. as well as granddaughter Jeri Lacksare will serve as consultants on the project which has yet to be given a premiere date.
How long is too long to wait for him to put a ring on it? How about seven years? Maybe 10 years? What about 15? We wonder if these stars had a number in mind before they joined the list of celebrities who waited the longest to get engaged. Some aren’t even interested in getting to married after many years together. Could you do it?
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis
Can putting off marriage be a sign that something is off? Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis were together for quite a long time. We’re talking between 1998 and 2012. And despite that, and the two children they brought into the world during that time, the good-looking pair never married. Maybe Paradis never wanted to be Depp’s Mrs.?
But when Johnny Depp met Amber Heard, it didn’t take long for them to fall in love, and for him to put a ring on it, which shocked a lot of people. While he didn’t propose to Paradis during their time together, he proposed to Heard in 2014 and the couple were married in 2015.
In the earlier part of last year, we brought you the exciting news that Oprah and Ava DuVernay were partnering once again (after they worked together in Selma) to bring Natalie Baszile’s Queen Sugar to OWN.
And today we learned that the role of Nova Bordelon will go to actress Rutina Wesley, best known for her role as Tara Thorton on HBO’s hit series “True Blood.”
Though in the book, Charley is the main character, a press release from OWN states that Wesley will play the lead as Nova.
In the series, Nova is a “formidable journalist and activist based in New Orleans. Her life, and that of her brother and their extended family, undergoes significant change when her sister Charley, returns to Louisiana from Los Angeles to help run the family sugarcane farm.”
Oprah who executive produces along with DuVernay, will also appear as a series regular.
Ava DuVernay developed Queen Sugar for television by writing the pilot episode. She is set to direct several episodes throughout the show’s first season.
According to the press release, Wesley also had a recurring role on the NBC drama “Hannibal” and recently guest starred in multiple episodes of The CW/Warner Bros. Television hit action-drama “Arrow.” Wesley co-starred in the hit 2015 Screen Gems film “The Perfect Guy” and previously appeared on Broadway in David Hare’s “The Vertical Hour,” opposite Julianne Moore. She began her career with a starring role in the independent feature film “How She Move,” which debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Wesley is a graduate of the drama division of the renowned Juilliard School.
I know I’m not the only one who is tired of Oprah’s Weight Watchers commercial. It is literally everywhere. But we shouldn’t be surprised really; it’s Oprah, and she does pretty much everything big. I mentally wished Oprah success on her journey but; aside from the fact that I was bored of it, I didn’t really pay the commercial much mind.
Interestingly enough, professor, news anchor, author, etc. Melissa Harris-Perry watched the commercial and took something else away from it.
She had an issue with one line in particular.
“Inside every overweight woman, is a woman she knows she can be.”
Oprah goes on to say that you can get to a point where you look in the mirror and don’t recognize yourself.
On her MSNBC show, Harris- Perry is known for her open letters. And last week’s was directed to Ms. Winfrey. She said after watching her commercial, she was “a bit distressed.”
She began by running down a brief list of Oprah’s accolades. Noting that not only is Oprah a billionaire, she’s one of the most philanthropic people on the planet. And she talked about Oprah’s influence, her ability to jumpstart careers, change lives through education and catapult authors out of obscurity with a book club recommendation.
So when Oprah said inside of her there’s the woman she wants to be, Harris-Perry said,
“I’m thinking to myself ‘But O! You are already precisely the woman so many are striving to be. Who you are, what you have accomplished, how you have influenced and altered the world is all so much more important than your dress size. There is not one thing that you have done that would have been more extraordinary if you had done it with a 25 inch waist.”
She continued saying, “I worry as a mom and as a woman about the messages our daughters receive if they think a woman as phenomenal as you is still not enough unless she is thin.”
I watched Harris-Perry deliver her open letter and at the end of it, I was like “Damn.” There’s some truth there. To me, and many others in the public, skinny Oprah was no different than overweight Oprah. So for her to say that she felt or continues to feel like she isn’t the woman she knows she can be because she’s not thin, is concerning. When I think of personhood, weight has very little to do with it. The spirit, soul, essence doesn’t change because you lose or gain weight.
Maya Angelou said something along the lines of you’ll forget what a person said, even what they do but you’ll never forget how that made you feel.
I know that to be true. When my grandmother died, months after her passing I was freaked out when I found I couldn’t remember certain elements of her physical features. Then it occurred to me, likely through Divine revelation, that a person is not their body and I could and still can access the way my grandmother made me feel heard, loved and important.
A quote that is often misattributed to C.S. Lewis says, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul; you have a body.”
One is eternal, depending on your beliefs, and the other is not, regardless of your beliefs.
I don’t think there are thin or fat souls, as we define them in the physical sense.
That being said, I’ve never been heavy. I don’t know what it’s like to struggle with weight in that way, particularly as a public figure, on television every single day for 25 years. I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and not recognize myself but not because of weight.
I imagine that being frustrated with an area of your life and seeking to change it goes beyond just the physical component. We all know that achieving a goal, is very rarely about a physical feat. Most of the time, there is mental, emotional, psychological and even spiritual satisfaction that comes from achieving a goal, even if you may use your physical body to do it.
For many people, weight is more than just weight. It might represent something emotional, some type of bad habit, a lack of control or discipline in their lives. So then losing weight is less about appearance and more about the internal work of addressing those habits, emotions or lacking.
That’s something you don’t have to be overweight to understand.
Despite what we, the public, have witnessed Oprah accomplish and become, most of us can’t argue that we know her well enough to know what feelings, goals and desires she has for her personal life (that she just might happen to share with the world.) If, despite all of her accolades, accomplishments, influence and power, Oprah still wants to prove to herself that she can be the type of woman who is not burdened by excess weight and wants to relieve that burden by losing the weight, then that’s certainly not shallow. It’s admirable. And to Melissa Harris-Perry’s point: The woman who made the decision to lose weight and the woman who will ultimately do the physical work to do so, is the same woman who built an empire and changed the game. She doesn’t have a dress size.
Oprah. Iman. Mellody Hobson. The following women are entrepreneurs, leaders and magnates at the top of their respective industries who have broken barriers and helped pave the way for countless women. Read on for their words of wisdom on everything from being authentic to dealing with discomfort and the secrets behind their iconic, multimillion-dollar brands.
“Stop Acting Like Everything’s Perfect”: After Losing Two Children, Wendy Says Women Need To Talk About Miscarriages
In the new issue of New York Family magazine, Wendy Williams, who is pretty much an open book about her past, was asked about raising a teenager, her parenting philosophies, and balancing being Wendy Williams the talk show host and Wendy Hunter the wife. She was also asked about the struggles she endured while trying to become a mother.
Williams has spoken in the past about having two miscarriages and how that experience impacted her. But she told the magazine that if she had to give advice to other women about how to deal with such loss, it would be to continue to talk about it. Share your story so that more women know they’re not alone. According to Wiliams, doing so has helped her find peace, and had helped many other women too:
I was five months pregnant when I had my first [miscarriage]. It turns out that what I had was a weak cervix…I had two five-month miscarriages, and [the babies] both had names and the nurseries were set up for both; those were babies. I was on the radio, at that time, in Philadelphia, and I was a popular disc jockey and I had already gone out and done appearances—people saw me with the belly and had heard me talking about it! Then I had the miscarriage and it was like: “Okay, let’s talk about it! Come on, girls!” Turns out, girls all over were like: “This happened to me! And that happened to me…” So I say talk about it, and talk about it often when it’s appropriate, because the only way that we get stronger and more knowledgeable as women is if we stop being such bald-faced liars and stop acting like everything’s perfect. I only breastfed my son for like two weeks and I felt like such a failure…I was collapsed in my closet, just sobbing, and my mother heard me—because she’s nosey—and said: “Wendy, what’s going on?” And I said: “Mommy, I just can’t breastfeed anymore—I’m crying and sobbing and Kevin’s only two weeks old and I just can’t! I gained 103 lbs, and I hate to be selfish, but I need to lose some weight! I’m on the radio, I have a showbiz career going on here! Can I have some wine? I’ve been on my back for nine months and I’ve been trying to have a baby for the past 2.5 years!” I explained this to my mother and she screeches down to my father: “Tom! Bring the car around and bring the coupons for the Good Starts!” Turns out my mom had coupons [for formula] saved up for me… I feel like I’m no less of a woman because I didn’t breastfeed, but women don’t share that stuff—so you can feel like you’re less of a woman. My advice to women and to mothers is: Share stuff if your kid goes through something—whether it’s substance abuse or you bought him condoms or you caught her with condoms! If moms talked more, when appropriate and with the right listening ear, we’d be a lot better.
Her statements remind me of Oprah’s decision to not only talk more about the child she prematurely gave birth to at 14, but to also give him a name. Such revelations can not only provide healing for the women sharing their stories but do the same for the women who have been through similar ordeals.
What do you think of Wendy’s advice?
Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson is undeniably one of Hollywood’s talented and hottest hunks.
But for those that don’t know too much about Johnson’s backstory, he faced lots of losses before striking gold and becoming an action movie star.
The 43-year-old is the next up to tackle Oprah’s awe-inspiring Master Class, a series where celebrities share their stories of success ranging from topics like pivotal moments that have shaped their lives and even the greatest lessons they’ve learned during their journey.
In a preview of the upcoming episode, Johnson gets real about his past demons, revealing his struggles with depression that stemmed from being passed on by the NFL after a successful four-year football career at the University Miami that was stumped by an injury.
A visibly teary-eyed Johnson (seen in the preview) also talks about his transition from football player to wrestler to actor, family life and more during his Master Class session.
While the show has yet to air, just from the preview I have to commend Johnson. Depression, especially when it comes to males, is very much under-reported. It’s almost as if when men express their feelings it’s seen as a sign of weakness. However, even the toughest of them all a.k.a. “The Rock” has hit rock bottom and isn’t scared to share his battles. That’s the best gift of all I think he could ever give his fans: motivation.
“I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it,” he says. “I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.’”
Watch Oprah’s Master Class with Dwayne Johnson on Sunday at 8/7c.
Fool me one time, shame on you. Someone caught wind of Oprah’s recent Weight Loss Watcher’s come-up and tried to make amends after once taking her kindness for weakness. VIBE reports the Ms. Winfrey had an unwarranted run-in with a man after taping an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month.
The individual considers himself to be the media mogul’s son. Oprah sat down with Entertainment Tonight to set the record straight on the rumored ambush.
She shares that she met Calvin Mitchell while filming a 90’s television movie titled There Are No Children Here. Once she heard about his family’s unfortunate background, Oprah took the opportunity to rescue the Mitchell family from the projects and give them an opportunity at a better life. Oprah enrolled Mitchell into a private school and moved his family into a better living situation, but it wasn’t long before she learned no good deed goes unpunished.
Mitchell began to be repeatedly absent from school and was threatened with expulsion. Oprah then decided to give him a second chance by enrolling him into a private Mississippi boarding school, but Mitchell expressed he was unhappy in the unfamiliar environment. Oprah shares her disappointment with the situation:
“I had a long conversation with him about how disappointed I was, but I was going to give him another chance.”
“I found a school in Mississippi that was a private boarding school because I thought if I could remove him from the environment that he’d been accustomed to growing up in, that maybe that would be helpful to him.”
But Mitchell only showed his gratitude by sharing his story to tabloids after what would be their final conversation. Oprah says it was then, she realized she was being taken advantage of:
“When I realized the whole thing was a setup, I was no longer interested in speaking to him.”
Oprah said the whole situation did teach her one thing:
“I learned from that experience, if you really want to change somebody’s life, you gotta be able to spend enough time with them to change the way they think about what their life can be.”
“It isn’t enough to give a person a new life or money or a new car, you have to teach them how to fish themselves.”
Calvin recently interviewed with Daily Mail and expressed his regret about the situation:
“I actually had to stare in the mirror just to see myself…I’ve thought about ending it all at one point. I felt like she did go above and beyond for me. She did that. She did that for me…She had tried to help me help myself. And that really bothered me that I let her down.”
It just goes to show you that you can take someone out the ‘hood, but you can’t take the ‘hood out of some people. This man had Oprah in his corner and he sold her out for a tabloid headline? His priorities clearly weren’t in order. We’re glad to see Oprah hasn’t allowed this situation to make her bitter and hopefully Calvin learned a valuable lesson from all of this.
We’ve all forgiven Oprah after she dropped the bomb about investing $43.2 million dollars into Weight Watchers without giving her faithful fans a heads up. The media mogul went on to make $45 million in a single day thanks to the power move and went on to later make $700 million.
The Grio reports Oprah’s recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in which she explained why she chose to invest in the weight loss company. The host opened with a joke about how Oprah wouldn’t let her in on the deal:
“Now had she made one phone call to me, I couldn’t have put $40 million in but I could have put a little bit of money in.”
Oprah fired back:
“No, but we want to stay out of jail!”
She then talked about how the company contacted her in summer about becoming involved with the brand to take their image to the next level as far as “self-empowerment and self-enrichment.” Oprah says she wanted to see how Weight Watchers worked before she got in business with the company and went on to discuss the success she’s experienced:
“Since August 12 I have lost 15 pounds, but I am excited about Weight Watchers being able to bring a healthier more holistic approach for everybody.”
Losing weight and making millions. Sounds like Oprah is winning to me. Check out her appearance on the show below:
Now that she’s making it do what it do with her television network, Oprah Winfrey has moved on to her next major project.
According to the Associated Press, the media maven recently purchased a 10 percent stake at Weight Watchers for approximately $43.2 million. The acquisition scored the businesswoman nearly 6.4 million shares of the company.
As a result of the five-year partnership, Weight Watchers has earned the right to use Winfrey’s name, image, likeness and endorsement for the brand’s programs, products and services with her approval. Oprah has also received the right to use the Weight Watchers brand and logo for collaborative promotional efforts.
Winfrey will also be joining the weight loss and maintenance company’s board of directors. With the television personality’s recent inclusion, the Weight Watchers board has expanded from nine to ten members.
The five-year agreement includes one-year renewal terms.