06 May Quickies: Don Thompson. Oprah Winfrey. Wendy Williams
1. Do you know this guy?
His name’s Don Thompson. And he’s the president of McDonald’s. He was on one of the morning news programs, hawking McDonald’s newest coffee line, poised to compete with Starbucks.
And of course, though I’m trying so hard to be post-racial, I did a double-take. The president of McDonald’s is Black? Nice.
I really don’t want to take note of these things. (It’s silly when you think about it. His skin color doesn’t mean we share the same beliefs or politics. And for a million reasons, McDonald’s is not a company I’m pumping my fists for. ) Will I ever see a Black person in a position of power and really not take notice?
Does anyone remember when Jet magazine used to have a section in the back of the magazine that would tell you when Black people would be on television? (Please tell me they don’t still do that).
Near the end of the magazine, right before the music charts that seemed based on the receptionist’s opinion, there was a list: Whoopi Goldberg will be on Star Trek...Robert Guillame will be on Benson…Arsenio Hall will be on Arsenio Hall.
Hard to believe it now but there was a time when it was rare to see Black folks on television. Forget about seeing Black folks running companies like McDonald’s or, you know, being the leader of the free world.
I’m reading this book right now called Dancing In The Street: Motown and The Cultural History of Detroit. In the book, the author discusses protests that were taking place at Ford assembly lines in the late 60s. At one protest, one of the demands from the Black auto works was a Black foreman. No other qualifications: just a Black man.
There was a time when just being Black was enough. It was an automatic that you were on the Team. But such is not the case anymore. We’re a wide spectrum of thoughts and ideas.
Take this dude for example:
We’re all not the same. I need to stop knee-jerk cheering for my people. I think.
2. Is Oprah for real?
Last year, Oprah had a guest on her show named Kathy Freston. Freston wrote a book called Quantum Wellness. The tidbits I read about the idea of quantum wellness really blew my mind. It was all about really thinking about how food ends up at your table. And giving serious thought to what you put into your mouth. Freston advocates something called a 21-Day Cleanse. You eat no animal products, (no meat, dairy, nothing…), no white sugar, no caffeine and no gluten. Oprah did it. And blogged about it.
TH and I did it. And it was hard as hell. But once I got the hang of it, I liked it. Actually ended up doing it for even longer than 21 days. I lost nearly 15 pounds. TH lost even more. And the way we approached food after that was just different. Even though I’m eating meat and dairy again, I’ve never looked at either the same again.
Very powerful stuff. And I urge you to Google 21-day cleanse and think about giving it a try.
That Oprah can really put you on to some good stuff when she’s of a mind to it.
So why the hell is this woman offering a free meal from KFC on her website?
Yup. Here’s the link. You can download a coupon for two pieces of grilled chicken, two side dishes and a biscuit. For free.
Okay, so it is a grilled chicken give-a-way. A grilled breast is only 180 calories with just 4 grams of fat. And if you add sides like green beans and corn on the cob, it’s not really a bad choice, as fast-food goes.
But I just don’t want to see the words Oprah and KFC and free coupon in the same sentence. It takes me right back to my issues with KFC’s original free chicken offer.
As my dear reader awesomely luvvie would say: iCan’t.
3. Where is Wendy Williams?
If you’re in the New York area, or in one of the cities in which The Wendy Williams Experience is syndicated, you know she’s been MIA for over a week.
I’m a hardcore Wendy-nista. If I get in the car between two and six and I hear old-school R&B and some generic announcer, I get twitchy.
I missed the show last week. Turns out her husband/manager came up to the show, along with her former co-host, Charlemagne. For all the details, check out this website. (By the way, I like this chick’s blog. Minimal. Good stuff I haven’t seen all over the ‘net. And reading her feels like I’m talking to Wendy.)
So she’s off the air. And I’m hoping she’s only suspended. Not fired.
But what’s up with this husband of hers? Is it true that he’s abusive, as her former talent booker alleges? Did anyone else hear the two of them on the Howard Stern show last year? Kevin didn’t let her get a word in edgewise and it sort of freaked me out.
I don’t know about that dude. But I do know this. Something’s up with my girl Wendy. Something big.
I went to the show with Faith Evans to promote the book last summer. Sat right next to Wendy and cracked the mike. Faith sat across from both of us and I watched the two of them interact.
There was something off about Wendy. Maybe it’s just the thyroid condition that makes her eyes seem enlarged. But she just seemed…troubled. The kind of trouble that you mask with a lot of makeup, really big hair and a painted on smile.
When we were done with our segment and they went to commercial, Faith and Wendy started talking about random stuff while I just watched.
And I noticed that Wendy was just talking at us. Not to us. She was looking at a fixed point in the studio and just talking. No eye contact. Just…talking.
I kept looking around to see if she was talking to someone in the studio that I couldn’t see. But she wasn’t.
And her voice was just one octave too loud. Not enough to really throw you off. But enough for me to notice.
It was as if there was no distinction between her on-air self, (where you speak loud into thin air with no one around) and her real-life self.
It was spooky.
I’m not making any judgment calls. I was only there for 20 minutes. And maybe that’s just how she gets down when she’s at work.
But there’s something there with Wendy. I’d like to know what it is.
dear readers: Black folks running McDonald’s, Oprah hooking us up with–of all things–free chicken?!, Wendy Williams and her latest suspension…Discuss.
I’d love to hear from you….