All Articles Tagged "OWN"

Was Iyanla Vanzant Profiting Off Of Ferguson’s Pain?

August 29th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Was Iyanla Vanzant Profiting Off Of Ferguson's Pain?

Source: OWN

When I learned that Iyanla Vanzant was traveling to Ferguson, Missouri I’ll admit I had a bit of trepidation.

I love Iyanla but the fact that she was taking her cameras with her didn’t exactly comfort me. Then there was the picture of police chief Thomas Jackson, seated with Michael Brown’s uncle, Charles Ewing, a pastor, the two of them holding hands with Iyanla’s clasped over them. I’m a Christian and I know we’re supposed to heal and forgive but it seemed to be a little too soon, no? Was that healing authentic? Had Brown’s uncle really forgiven the police department, before he’d even had a chance to bury his nephew?

It felt like too much too soon.

That’s the thing, I’ve started to question about these types of tragedies. It’s a double edged sword in losing your loved one in the public eye, the way Michael Brown’s family lost him. On the one hand, you feel an outpouring of support from strangers who affirm that your relative’s life meant something but on the other hand, the grieving process is a bit rushed and unnatural when you have to explain the depths of your sadness to the media or fight and grieve at the same time.

And apparently, I wasn’t the only one who felt Vanzant’s actions were a bit ill timed.

Though she released a statement through OWN saying she was traveling to Ferguson to “provide a set of tools to begin the healing process while also promoting peaceful change,” Black Twitter didn’t take too kindly to program. And really, that picture, the one you see above, set people off.

People interpreted the message to mean that, once again, Black people would have to be the bigger people and forgive an injustice that has yet to stop hurting and literally killing us. One person wrote:

“There’s been reports of black professors, actors, sheriffs and so on being racially profiled. How much more ‘acceptable’ do we have to be? As a black person, you should not have to prove your worth, your value in order to be treated as a human being.”

Of course, she’s right. Officer Darren Wilson hasn’t been arrested yet. The Ferguson police department has released very few, hard facts about what actually went down during the moments when Brown was killed; but somehow, in the midst of that very important work, police chief Jackson had time to sit down with Iyanla Vanzant…on camera?

Come on…

And still others are questioning whether or not Vanzant traveled to Ferguson so that she could profit off of the people’s pain.

While I agree, it might have been a better idea to chill on the cameras for a minute, I don’t think she went there with ill intentions.

After all, Iyanla herself has lot a daughter. She knows what type of “work” it takes to heal from something like that, if complete healing is even possible.

And while people outside of Ferguson, looking in, may feel a way about her being there, the people on the street seemed to appreciate having her there to listen to their grievances and even found comfort in the prayers she offered at the site of Michael Brown’s death.

In her prayer, it was clear to me that Iyanla was not there to stunt. OWN’s cameras might not have captured this moment but it was a powerful one. During her prayer, she said:

“We know that in the DNA of our beings, we know what to do. And we are calling it forth right now God and we ask that you give it to us more than we fear it. We ask that you give us the voice, we ask that you give us the clarity. We ask that you give us the courage to call out the things that need to be called out to make life better for those coming up behind us.”

I always found it so interesting that people always take issue with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. And I guess I get it. People think that they’re “ambulance chasers” seeking to gain shine in the midst of tragedies. But I never felt that way. And listening to Sharpton eulogize Mike Brown this past week, that feeling was reaffirmed.

We might not like the way Jesse, Al or even Iyanla seek to bring awareness to these issues but they are doing something. And the only thing worse than making a mistake in doing something is doing nothing and condemning those who are trying.

“I Was Scared” Brandy Nearly Cries Telling Oprah Why She Lied About Being Married

July 31st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

In 2002, Brandy made a big announcement. She had married secretly and was six months pregnant. Then there was that reality tv show, “Brandy: Special Delivery” where we saw Brandy and her “husband,” Robert Smith together and watched the process of her giving birth to her daughter Sy’rai. Watching the show you could tell something was off between Brandy and Robert– I just never assumed that their whole relationship was a sham.

Either way, on a recent episode of Oprah’s “Where Are They Now,” Brandy comes back to sit on Oprah’s couch (or chair) and explain why she felt she needed to lie about having a child out of wedlock.

Oprah: I asked if you were married at the time and you said you were. Why did you say that?

Brandy: I said that I was married. Because at that time being pregnant out of wedlock was not a trend. It was not something that people praised. It was a sin. And I felt like I could not be honest about that. I felt the pressure of, again, having to be perfect. And I was scared. I thought that everything that I had worked hard for and everything that I worked to build, the image that I worked so hard to build was threatened. And I felt like having a child out of wedlock would ruin my career, everything that I had built.

And I’m really sorry for that because you just don’t lie to Oprah, okay?!

You can watch the video below.

In another part of the interview, Brandy explains why she doesn’t think she would have made it as a celebrity growing up in this day and age because people on social media can be so cruel. See what she had to say in the video below.

You can catch Brandy’s episode of “Where Are They Now” this Sunday, August 3 on OWN at 9 pm ET/PT.

Watch: Tyler Perry Brings More Drama To OWN With ‘If Loving You Is Wrong’

July 17th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: OWN

Source: OWN

Considering the success of “The Haves And The Have Nots,” it’s not surprising that OWN and Tyler Perry would opt to put out another soap opera type show. The network recently debuted the trailer for their latest series, “If Loving You Is Wrong” and it looks fairly interesting.

“Secrets, lies and deception lie behind closed doors for a group of husbands and wives that live and love on the same street,” the network describes the series.

According to Shadow and Act, the plot picks up in the middle of a steamy affair between neighbors Randal and Alex. Randal’s wife, Marci, is desperately hoping for children; however, Randal’s too busy sleeping with his best friend Brad’s wife.

Meanwhile, a recently divorced Esperenza is building a relationship with her new beau, Julius, while trying to keep their romance hidden from her mean-spirited ex-husband, Edward.

Down the street, neighbor Kelly is hoping to get married to her boyfriend, Travis, who is on a relief mission in Haiti. The rather eventual story line also highlights single mother Natalia, who is faced with the deciding whether or not to allow one of her sons to return home after he is released from prison.

Judging by the story line, it looks like the series has a bit of potential. However, we’ll probably have to wait until it premieres on Sept. 9 to truly make that judgement.

Check out the trailer below. Let us know your thoughts.

“I Was Not Fun For 3 Years” Terry McMillan Talks About Forgiving Her Gay Ex Husband

July 3rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Getty

Source: Getty

You don’t even have to have read Terry McMillan’s How Stella Got Her Groove Back to know her story. The art inspired by her life that was in a book, on the big screen and then all over television for the world to see when things went left. Most of us remember the episode of Oprah where McMillan confronted her gay ex husband Jonathan Plummer for the deception and betrayal of marrying her when he knew–or at least had an inkling–that he was gay.

The encounter was not exactly comfortable. You may remember that McMillan’s head was on lean the entire interview and there were more eye rolls than a little bit.

Obviously, the dissolution of a marriage is not easy on anyone but the circumstances behind the ending of this one and the way it played out in the public presumably made it even harder to get over.

But in this Sunday’s upcoming episode of OWN’s “Oprah: Where Are They Now,” McMillan seems to have gotten to that place.

In the video below she talks about the process of forgiving her ex husband.

“People do a lot of things to hurt each other but it takes a different kind of energy, positive energy to forgive someone. And I think mostly, It’s forgiving yourself because being angry is stupid. It really is stupid and it weighs you down and everybody around you feels it. I was not fun for three years.”



McMillan’s episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now” airs this Sunday, July 6 at 9pm.

“It’s Hard Being A Broke Celebrity” Flex and Shanice Are Coming To OWN

May 15th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: OWN

Source: OWN

We haven’t heard or seen much from Flex or singer Shanice in a while. We all love Shanice with her hit “I Love Your Smile” and we remember Flex Alexander from the show “One on One” So we’re happy that the couple is coming to OWN for a new reality show, aptly titled “Flex & Shanice.”

Apparently, life ain’t been no crystal stair for the couple and financially they’ve been in a bit of a bind since both of their careers faced stumbling blocks. With two children, Imani, 12 and Elijah, 10, Flex and Shanice moved themselves into a rental home. And they brought their extended family, a total of 9 people, to help cover the cost.

In the upcoming episode, we’ll watch as Shanice has to answer some real questions about whether or not her momager Crystal has been detrimental to her career. Things are looking up though. Flex has booked some gigs and Shanice is speaking with Babyface, one of her former producers, about next steps.

Sounds like it could be pretty good. Lord knows some of y’all have been wondering what they’ve been up to. Take a look at the teaser for the new show in the video below and let us know what you think.



The show will air on Saturday, May 31 at 10pm on OWN. Will you watch?

OWN To Air A Docuseries About First Openly-Gay NFL Draft Pick, Michael Sam

May 15th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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michael sam OWNOprah’s OWN network has ordered a docuseries that will follow NFL draft pick Michael Sam as he prepares to join the St. Louis Rams. Sam is the first openly-gay player in the NFL. The docuseries will be produced by the same team that brought us Lindsay, the docuseries about Lindsay Lohan.

“We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it forever,” Oprah said in a statement. “The next real-life story we follow in The Untitled Michael Sam Project promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today. Acceptance and illumination start here.”

The show will also dive into the scrutiny he receives from the media and both the personal and private adjustments he’ll have to make as he moves into the NFL. Sam say he hopes his story will be an inspiration to others.

“Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability,” he said in a statement. “…And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great. ”

At the moment, Sam has the NFL’s best-selling jersey, beating out top draft picks. Sam was the 249th pick, selected by the Rams days into the draft process.

[via The Hollywood Reporter, Variety]

#TBT: Oprah’s 1983 Daytime Host Audition Tape Revealed

May 8th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Image Source:

Image Source:



From StyleBlazer 

At 60 years old, Oprah Winfrey is not a aged monolith but a powerhouse. The broadcast talent who extended her brand to become one of the most recognizable faces in the world, started from humble beginnings. And fans were reminded of this when she showed her 1983 audition tape to her daytime TV show audience in November 2005.

Today, the video was made available on the network’s official YouTube channel.

At 29, Winfrey sits confidently in a pink and black set, talking about the origin of her unique name. But that’s not the most shocking aspect of the tape. What’s shocking is how much she’s developed as a women and professional over the course of 30 years. She truly has come up and it shows in more than one way.

Read more about Oprah’s come up at 

“Love In The City” Ladies Talk Using Reality TV To Build Their Brands

May 5th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Reality TV has earned a bad named, not just for the fights and drink throwing that we’ve all had more than enough of, but because though everyone who joins one of these shows claims they’re doing so to have a bigger platform for their craft, very few actually use the TV medium as such. What we usually witness are men and women who let drama overshadow their talent, all for the sake of becoming pseudo-famous, but thankfully, the ladies of “Love in the City” are different — most notably because these women had their own businesses before the cameras started rolling.

When we had a chance to chat with Kiyah Wright, Tiffany Jones, Chenoa Maxwell, and Bershan Shaw, we asked the self-professed Alpha females how being on the Oprah Winfrey Network has affected their business and how they’re using that platform to “light a fire” underneath them and build onwards and upwards. Check out what they had to say in the video above.

Does Black TV Have Less Sympathy For White Celebs? Did Oprah Let Go Of Lindsay Too Easily?

April 26th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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OWN let go of lindsay lohan


I spent last Sunday keeping up on what might be the only season of Lindsay on the OWN Network. The docu/reality show followed troubled child star turned tabloid favorite Lindsay Lohan as she struggles to get her life and career together after several very public run-ins with the law and a few stints in rehab. For some reason, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the ginger teenage drama queen. And the series showed that’s exactly what Lindsay is like off the set too. But when it comes to stars like “Lilo”, I feel like it’s one thing to have to go through growing pains and parents who seem two “Danny Tanner” talks past adolescence themselves even when you’re not famous. But for some reason *cough* money *cough* the media sticks to these stars and milks every scrap of a story they can find to exploit them, which makes any progress they may be making that much harder.

If you aren’t familiar with the tension between the show and the network, you may recall an interview that took the Queen Bee of media completely out of character. Oprah tells an assistant how people warned her not work to with Lilo. During the interview Oprah tells Lindsay to “cut the bulls**t”. She cautions her in a friendly but “don’t F with me way” that if Lilo wants to let the show go to just say so. She reassures her, “If that is the case, then you’re not going to be f—ing up.”

Lilo probably should have taken O up on her offer and left with some dignity. After countless episodes that barely feature the star because she isn’t willing to wake up for call time and lengthy texts to the production staff with the same excuse (“I just need this day to myself”) Oprah gave Lindsay the boot. Not to mention her shallow sobriety which left her sponsor even saying no comment and now the latest Lilo walk of shame: The Sex List.

I’m torn. On a network like VH1 Lindsay’s sloppy shenanigans would’ve been a ratings inferno giving viewers a front row seat to the downward spiral. It kind of makes me respect Oprah’s integrity to not support someone whose life doesn’t seem to be improving. At the same time rumors flew that the show was being canceled because of poor ratings (the finale pulled in only 335,000 viewers and ratings dropped a whole 52% since the show’s premiere). I can’t help but feel if Oprah was so concerned, she’d give Lilo (who is clearly failing at getting her acting career on track) another chance. But Oprah seemed more concerned about her own ruined reputation as the talk show save-a-heaux than Lindsay actually getting better. It was even said that she was offended that Lindsay was so private on the show, yet all of these stories about her partying were in the headlines all the time. It was like she caught feelings because she couldn’t get an an exclusive on the train wreck to rack in ratings for the network.

I’m not going to assume it’s necessarily a race thing as much as it was a ratings thing, but I couldn’t help but feeling like if this was Whitney Houston we would’ve gotten all the interviews she was willing to give no matter how many times she relapsed. I almost felt like Oprah felt Lindsay was just another entitled TV star and there was something very transparent about her support. Oprah treated Lindsay just like the tabloids we witnessed stalking her: Like an easy headline. And when the starlet’s mishaps failed to turn into profit, Oprah cut her loose. She wanted a big name to draw in ratings and the opportunity to say she broke through to a star that no one else could. Instead Lindsay made a cool 2$ mil by staying in her bedroom, and partying and BS’ing for most episodes. Some might say that makes her the loser, but I think it says a lot about when attempting to exploit someone goes awry.

I mean seriously: Oprah knew what she was signing up for, but when Lindsay’s diva demands didn’t turn into ratings, Oprah backed out and suddenly decided she wouldn’t or couldn’t help. I’m not saying Lindsay didn’t dig her own grave, but if people really want to help her they should do just that and not back out when their abilities get tested or when it isn’t advantageous to them.

The show in some ways says more about the Harpo honcho’s failures than Lindsay’s. People expect things when a star sits across from the media maven. There will be tears, words of wisdom, a dash of Oprah “keeping it real”, secrets revealed and revelations. It’s like Dr. Drew meets MTV Cribs. But Lindsay didn’t give Oprah that. She did exactly what she’s known for and proved that not every celeb falls into the fetal position when in Oprah’s presence. I think Oprah realized that and shut down shop before anyone else did too.

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

“I Couldn’t Move, I Was Sick:” Lindsay Lohan Reveals Miscarriage On Season Finale Of OWN Series

April 21st, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Lindsay Lohan Reveals Miscarriage


Last month, we reported on the Lindsay Lohan docu-series “Lindsay” which appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Throughout the season, we observed Lohan struggle with sobriety, family issues and cancelling photo-shoots. Although Lohan’s behavior was met with much criticism, last night she garnered much sympathy when she revealed she suffered a miscarriage during the season. When Lindsay was asked to reflect on the what she learned during filming, she said:

No one knows this — I had a miscarriage for those weeks I took off. I couldn’t move, I was sick. Mentally, that messes with you.” 

Lohan also noted the reason why she declined to film on certain days was because of how she felt after the miscarriage. Speaking in third person, the recovering actress claimed:

“Watching this series, I just know how I felt at that moment and I can relate to that girl, which sounds kind of crazy. But I’m like, ‘Oh my god, this is really sad. Who’s helping her?’”

After the season finale, Lohan’s mother Dina apparently tweeted Oprah Winfrey: “Oprah call me.” Her tweet was shortly deleted and most likely in reference to the cancellation of  her daughter’s docu-series. The Daily News relayed, Winfrey  onsidered canceling the show because of the poor ratings it received. Initially, the season premiere received less than 700,000 viewers.

Lindsay never identified  who would have fathered her child but did state she is filming a new film that will be in theaters in June.

Below, is a clip of Lindsay’s revelations.

What did you think of  Lindsay’s season finale?