Oprah Wards Off Attacks About Revealing Charla Nash's Face
Talk show guru Oprah Winfrey defended her decision to reveal the face of chimp attack victim Charla Nash on her show last week, revealing she considered blurring the image but decided against it.
"There was great concern as to how to show the face, whether to show the face, and how to do it," Oprah shared on friend Gayle King's Sirius Radio show late last week. "And I finally thought that she has to live with it. First of all, she wanted to show it, and she has to live with it, so how dare us think ... because we even considered, 'Should we blot out the face? Should you blur the face?' And then i said no, we're not gonna do that, because it's more important for us to not have to look at her than for her to be willing to show it? That's not right."
Listen to Oprah's Interview With Gayle:
An admission regarding other subject matter she refused to air helps clarify some of the ethical issues concerning censorship in daytime television. "I have done shows - just recently actually - I did a show where at the end of the show I felt people should not see this, this should not happen," Oprah told King regarding an interview with a sex addicted mother.
"On the show, the mother told me she had 3 children - a 10-year-old, a 14-year-old, and a 17-year-old - and she's talking about all these crazy explicit things she was doing. We finished taping the show and I said to the producer, 'We're gonna ruin her life if we put that on the air, so that is not going to air.' She was saying, 'I wanna go on.' I said, 'You don't know what this is gonna do to your 10 year old son. This is going to ruin his life having you on television talking about these things.'"
That marks the second time in a year that Winfrey pulled an already-taped episode of her show.
In April, Winfrey nixed '10 Years Later: The Truth About Columbine,' which was to air on the anniversary of the massacre in Littleton, Colo., that killed 12 students and a teacher.
"I decided to pull the Columbine show today. After reviewing it, I thought it focused too much on the killers. Today, hold a thought for the Columbine community. This is a hard day for them," Winfrey wrote on Oprah.com, Facebook and Twitter.
Despite the media firestorm involving the Nash attack, The Oprah Winfrey show did not garner huge rating gains with the Nash interview. The New York Post reported that "preliminary ratings for Wednesday's 'Oprah' averaged only about 6 percent over the day before -- and were lower than what she got on Monday when Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi were on talking about their recent marriage."
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