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The “Oprahdemics” Podcast is Being Sued By Oprah Winfrey’s Company

By Chinelo Eze
11 August 2022   |   1:33 pm
The producers of the "Oprahdemics" podcast are being sued by Oprah Winfrey's firm, which claims that the podcast misleads listeners into believing that she has endorsed or approved it. Winfrey's Harpo Inc. claimed in a complaint submitted late on Tuesday to Manhattan federal court that it is neither suing "Oprahdemics" authors Kellie Carter Jackson and…

Oprah Winfrey | Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood

The producers of the “Oprahdemics” podcast are being sued by Oprah Winfrey’s firm, which claims that the podcast misleads listeners into believing that she has endorsed or approved it.

Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. claimed in a complaint submitted late on Tuesday to Manhattan federal court that it is neither suing “Oprahdemics” authors Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur for profits or damages nor attempting to halt the podcast.

It instead requests a name change, claiming that the podcast and associated live events tarnish Harpo’s “Oprah” and “O” trademarks and improperly profit on the reputation that Winfrey has worked so hard to establish over the years.

The “Oprah Effect” or “The O Factor” is the term for the “exponential” increase in sales that results from simply being connected with the “Oprah” brand, according to Harpo, which is Oprah spelt backward.

According to the “Oprahdemics” website, Jackson and Rigueur are historians and friends who analyse historic Winfrey talk show episodes and talk about the “Queen of Talk’s” cultural influence.

“Oprahdemics” is a “journalistic examination by history professors and sincere, longtime devotees of Oprah Winfrey,” according to co-producer Jody Avirgan, whose company Roulette Productions is also a defendant.

Being genuinely startled by this, he stated, “Roulette has been engaged with the team at Harpo for some time. We hope to resolve it.”

He continued, “This is a woman, a Black woman, who has dominated multiple spaces and arenas” since the 1980s, she said. “I say that in a way that doesn’t absolve her of … constructive criticism or feedback or anything like that, but instead as recognition of … the institution of Oprah Winfrey and the Oprah Winfrey brand.”

Winfrey, 68, is also an actress and philanthropist who built a media and economic empire out of her namesake Chicago television talk show, which aired nationwide from 1986 until 2011. She has a $2.5 billion market value, according to Forbes.

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