Oprah brouhaha

Published June 28, 2006 6:00PM (EDT)

In the last two months, some of the biggest stars in rap music have accused Oprah Winfrey of harboring an anti-hip hop bias. The May issue of GQ featured Ludacris complaining that Oprah had lectured him and edited his comments during his appearance on her show. 50 Cent followed suit shortly after, criticizing Oprah for rarely having rap artists as guests on her couch. The most recent salvo comes from Ice Cube, who says he's been repeatedly turned away from the show. In an interview with FHM magazine, Cube wonders if "Maybe Oprah's got a problem with hip hop."

After a period of silence, Oprah respond to her critics in an appearance on MTV, where she explained, "I'm not opposed to rap. I'm opposed to being marginalized as a woman." Is Oprah a hater? Or does the Queen of all media have a legitimate point? Check out Yvonne Bynoe's Alternet story for an insightful breakdown of the dispute: "In case Oprah's comments need some decoding, what she's saying is she believes rap artists should be free to record songs that call women 'bitches' and 'hos,' and she should be equally free not to invite them on her show. Oprah does not have a problem with rap music -- she has a problem with rap that degrades women." Or, for a slightly less nuanced take, there's this from Leonard Pitts Jr.'s syndicated column on Tuesday: "Would somebody please tell the hip-hop community to stop whining? Go drink some Cristal, buy some bling, pimp some hos, or do whatever it is they do for amusement, but please, cease, desist, shut up already about how Oprah Winfrey has hurt their feelings."

-- David Marchese

By Salon Staff

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