The Envelope Logo

Gold Derby

Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

« Previous Post | Gold Derby Home | Next Post »

Is Oprah worthy of receiving Kennedy Center Honors?

September 8, 2010 | 10:41 pm

A battle has erupted in our forums over the Kennedy Center Honors' plan to bestow an award upon Oprah Winfrey on Dec. 5 (and aired by CBS on Dec. 28.)

According to the organization's website, the honor is "given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture." Granted, Oprah has had a profound impact on American culture, but in the performing arts?

Oprah winfrey news

Oprah's vitae as an actress is limited, although it does include an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for "The Color Purple."  Naysayers in our message boards assert that she's regarded chiefly as a TV talk show host, but a previous gabfest emcee earned this same honor (Johnny Carson) and Oprah often ballyhoos the performing arts on her TV show. Her detractors may also not be giving her sufficient credit for producing movies like "Beloved" and telefilms like "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Women of Brewster Place."

Below: a sampling of some forum comments. See more here.

Rockstitution: "I'd have taken Betty White over Oprah for the TV slot."

DS0816: "If Oprah Winfrey has to be on the list, than next year's must include Phil Donahue."

Seanflynn: "I admire Winfrey greatly, have no problem with lots of honors she might receive. She has been an amazing, vital voice for many years. I question this though. It is known for people who are involved in the creative arts and are known as performers and/or creators. But Carson also was a writer/performer/comedian/actor on his show -- Winfrey is an interviewer only. Her other creative endeavors as an actor and producer are laudible, but not remotely Kennedy Center honor worthy, or on the level of Carson's creative/performing work. I think this award for her is dubious."

Photo Credit: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Comments

They should honor the Rolling Stones and how can you honor McCartney without honoring the Beatles? Surely you're not saying that his achievements as a solo artist have surpassed those of the Beatles? Kind of wacky. Last year's show said little or nothing about the E Street Band.

since 2000,the kennedy center has had some incredibly odd and most of times bad ones like THE WHO's pete townshend and roger daltrey or comedian steve martin.i wasn't surprise at oprah's selection(if were me,i would have chosen either rita moreno or jane fonda)but they made their pick and no one can do anything about it. i still was hoping that jerry lewis would have been picked too.

I think it's great! If I could afford to go I would. Please let oprah shine and don't diminish her star that has shined so brightly on the world as hers has.

Posted by:STACEY

Why are kidding me with this question? really? why is this even up for debate?

Oprah is God! dammit!...so she deserves her award...because mindless Oprah followers do everything that Oprah tells them to do...it's that simple!

The logo on wikipedia looks like a gay pride flag

Phil Donahue, definitely. The man practically invented the genre.
But at least they rectified a real injustice by finally giving recognition to Merle Haggard.

Well, I see nez is off her rocker.

Will Barbara Walter's deserves hers when she gets one? Although Barbara has been in the game longer than Oprah she has not had the influence on SOCIETY as Oprah has. I don't hear of the "Barbara Effect" but I constantly hear about the "Oprah Effect". She single-handedly has the ability to inspire, motivate, and influence the masses as no one has been able to do before. When Oprah opens her mouth - the world waits to hear what she has to say. I think most people are made because she's hugely successful, intelligent and BLACK.

It's really a no-brainer that an Obama cheerleader like Ms. Winfrey would be selected for the Kennedy Center Honors during Obama's Presidency. I say her impact on culture and the performing arts has been significant, particularly in her influence over what many Americans read through her Oprah Book Club. I strongly disagree with Randall G. Gerber that performers like Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Martin are undeserving of the honors they have received. So over 30 years of contributions to popular music and/or acting and comedy aren't enough for you?

You could argue Oprah's a comedian too. She makes her audience laugh all the time with her comments and facial expressions. And Oprah can also make the audience cry on a regular? Johny couldn't do that.

THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS,AN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS,IS ALSO KNOWN FOR GIVING ITS AWARD TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T DESERVE IT YET LIKE THE WHO'S PETE TOWNSHEND AND ROGER DALTREY OR COMIC ACTOR STEVE MARTIN OR LAST YEARS HONOREE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN(I FORGOT ELTON JOHN,TOO).BUT THIS IS ANY DIFFERENT WITH OPRAH WINFREY GETTING IT,THERE ARE ACTRESSES MORE DESERVING THEN HER:MERY STREEP,MARY TYLER MOORE,JANE FONDA EVEN 88YEAR OLD BETTY WHITE.JOHNNY CARSON WAS A TALK SHOW HOST TOO,BUT WAS A COMEDIAN AND COMEDY WRITER AND A STAPLE ON TV FOR MORE THEN 30 YEARS AND UNLIKE OPRAH,HE WAS NOT ARROGANT JERK.NO MATTER WHAT I SAID SHE WILL STILL GET THIS AWARD BECAUSE THIS IS HOW THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS IS WHAT IT IS,UNFORTUNELY. THANK YOU

Totally dominating the ultra competetive and improvisational field of TV talk shows for a quarter century is more than worthy of the honor. Hosting a talk show is certainly performance art. Being an interviewer is the least of what Oprah does; she's primarily an entertainer who makes people laugh and cry and inspires and mobilizes her audience on a massive scale. I'd say that not only is she worthy, but she's probably the greatest performance artist of all time because she has so much emotional range and is so spontanieous.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:


About the Blogger


Pop & Hiss



Categories


Archives
 



In Case You Missed It...