Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oprah Takes Her Pound Of Flesh And Then Apologizes


There has probably been nothing more embarrassing for James Frey than to have to go on Oprah's show and have her scold him for an hour about the falsehoods in his book, A Million Little Pieces. The guy was basically raked over the coals for an hour and just took it. He took it despite the fact that, according to him at least, he was brought there to be part of a panel, and instead found out that he would be the only person on the panel. I actually can't believe he stayed. He knew he was going to be embarrassed but he stayed anyway. Well, that was in 2006. A month later, his then publisher dropped him and I doubt anyone ever thought they would hear about him again.

Then, last fall, Oprah meditated. When she got done meditating, she decided to call James Frey and apologize to him for what she had done. In an interview with Vanity Fair, James said that Oprah said, that she owed him an apology and that the harshness in the interview towards him resulted from her sense of feeling betrayed.

Well, now that they have kissed and made up, perhaps she will let him come on the program again and plug his new book. Hell, maybe she will even give him a television show and he and Jenny McCarthy can co-host.

32 comments:

WTF said...

I seriously thought he would commit suicide after that show, she was that harsh. I have never watched her again and look forward to Karma kicking her butt.

not on my dollar said...

I read she has no plans to have him on her show because they are done taping for this season.

Don't know if she'll have him on in the fall though.

Harriet Hellfire said...

Unless he writes another book, I doubt he'll be on the show.

AnonMom said...

Somethings happened to Oprah's ratings to make her do this. Color me suspicious.

Volenut said...

Maybe everyone is tired of hearing about an entertainers politcal views... or how we help people across the globe, but not in our own backyard?

shazzzba said...

FOR GOD'S SAKE...A MEMOIR IS HOW YOU REMEMBER IT....AND WE ALL THAT KNOW MEMORY IS FAULTY.....HE WANTED THE BOOK PUBLISHED AS A FICTIONAL MEMOIR AND HIS PUBLISHER SAID........NO.....

ALL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED...

AWFUL...JUST AWFUL

AND I USED TO LOVE OPRAH..BUT SHE IS
SO FULL OF IT.......

OH AND I AM NEVER WRITING A MEMOIR ..

Kat said...

Eh, Oprah's fine. She's trying out spiritually enlightening themes and frankly, I don't see much wrong with it. She gets on her high horse at times but at least the intentions are usually good. She usually admits when she eff's up, unlike the rest of 'em.

That said, I read the book, and I remember thinking that it was so completely contrived that there was no way it happened the way he'd wrote it. I couldn't understand how Oprah, or anyone else, could have believed any of it in the first place. I didn't like the way she cornered him, though, because I felt like she should have known that it wasn't a true bio, given the content. It was just common sense. If I were him, I would have walked out, but I have to give him big points for toughing it out, and also, the book was entertaining despite most of it being fiction.

nancer said...

he HAS written another book. there were mixed reviews but it did ok.

i think a memoir should be as accurate as possible and his clearly wasn't. you don't 'remember things differently' like whether you were or were not in jail, for instance. the things he said happened to him were grossly exaggerated so i get her indignation.

but the hatchet job was way over the top. if i were him, i'd tell her if her apology and the whole episode was the topic, i'd do another show with her. otherwise, i'd say go fuck yourself, ope.

jax said...

the guy was hooked on heroin for years, how factual can he be in reality?

that book did wonders for people dealing with addictions in their family. it opened a lot of eyes and i think Oprah should not only apologize but have him back again.

apparently he was asked, but wavered and she was insulted.

fuck Opie.

ps- thanks Enty.

Quintessential Southerner said...

she may have been harsh but apologized. she's not obligated to have him back on her show.

Miss said...

the book was obviously full of bs. having addiction issues and being in and out of rehab since I was 15 I called that from page three.

and I am totally lying as well.

see.. I should write a memoir.

:)

bits of moxy said...

It's a shame, his follow up book My Friend Leonard was far better than A Million...and I don't think it got the response it should have b/c of her show. She berated him way to much for the smallest of fractions. IMO

Quintessential Southerner said...

^^^then he should have meant for "a million..." to be a fictious novel. he has his share of the blame.

Harriet Hellfire said...

I liked My Friend Leonard better too. I also read that one before A Million Little Pieces, maybe that had something to do with it...

Bodie said...

Jax, i agree with what you've said

plus i think Oprah simply can't handle any kicks to that over inflated ego of hers

she lost sight of the bigger picture by not realizing that it doesn't frickin' matter if the book is true or not. what matters is if it speaks to people and helps them.

Sarah Jane said...

Harriet I was just about to post the same thing! My Friend Leonard was a great book

yeahwhatever said...

And Oprah grows a conscience... Forgive me if I am a bit skeptical. Watching her rake Frey over the coals was absolutely horrific and I felt awful for the dude. It was uncalled for and I'm glad Oprah has been so widely criticized for it.

I enjoyed reading Frey's books and found them highly entertaining if not completely believable. I also tend to be of the mentality that life is truly stranger than fiction. If I wrote a memoir tomorrow there would be A LOT that would shock people and perhaps seem unbelievable to many. It depends on your own life experience, I guess.

I hate Oprah, I really do. Sanctimonious COW.

Sylvia said...

I can't stand Opa at all. She is a phony.

Alisonthefirst said...

Wasn't something out there recently that said Fey was going to basically "out" Oprah with some of her "very revealing" voice mails?

Alisonthefirst said...

this is it!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518942,00.html

Quintessential Southerner said...

"After getting publicly eviscerated, he tapes one with "the host," where she checks to make sure he isn't "going to hurt himself" and reveals some startling information about herself."

so she realizes the she is wrong, calls to check up on him and attempts to relate info on herself? hmm...

the panache report has already stated that oprah and hill harper are among very few celebs with little scandal associated with them. team o.

bits of moxy said...

Quintessential Southerner - I agree that he does have blame associated with him. I was just impling I think she took it way to far.
He has a true talent for writing and considering he was nothing but a junkie who was able to turn his life around instead of living off of someones teet for the rest of his life, I guess I just feel she went to far. This is the woman who talks often of compassion - where was hers when someone made her look slightly unprepaired (not knowing the book was fiction prior to his first interview). She gave him fame and stomped it right out of him.
On a side note - i do like Dr. Oz.

jax said...

QS- you're right , she's not obligated to have him back on her show.
but she wasn't obligated to praise his book up and down for weeks when it came out on her show and she sure as hell wasn't obligated to tear him a new one and ruin him on her show either.
so if she's big enough to apologize, then why not share that too with her audience?

Kat said...

My main grievance with Frey is that when Oprah revealed the book as part of her book club, going so far as to include his mother in the surprise reveal, she went on and on about how great it was, as a 'biographical' work. Now, anyone knows that a good word from her is going to make someone money and give them a great reputation, so he really should have made it clear from get go that it was only semi-autobiographical. He just sat there, taking the praise, and he didn't pipe up once, which is why she was so embarrassed when the truth came out. I understand her anger, but I think she went way overboard with the public flagellation she put upon him afterward. Probably should have just pulled the book or made a simple statement about how it wasn't based on fact and left it at that.

justpeachy130 said...

Like Opes hasn't told a million lies about her personal life. Please. She is a hypocrite.

Kat said...

What lies, specifically, has she told? Just curious.

ardleigh said...

Did she go on the show and issue the apology or did she wimp out and do so through her "people"?

jax said...

she called him privately after eviscerating him publicly.

ardleigh said...

Thanks Jax

What a bitch Opie is. If you eviscerate someone verbally, then feel bad, at least have the balls to apologise as publically as you humiliated them.

Quintessential Southerner said...

"but she wasn't obligated to praise his book up and down for weeks when it came out on her show and she sure as hell wasn't obligated to tear him a new one and ruin him on her show either."

she praised his book before the good folks at the smoking gun blasted his ass. wealthy people will oftentimes rip a hole in anyone's ass when they are crossed. she's human, but she's no different.

james frey's credibility is shot. period.

GoddessNow said...

I enjoyed A Bright Shiny Morning by Frey. He is one heck of a story teller and in my opinion (key word being my) I thought he made the city of LA appear almost human. I have it hardback but due to added passages it looks like I need to read the paperback.

Ayesha said...

99 times out of 100, when I check to see what's on Oprah, I pass because it's usually some celeb stroke job. Occasionally, she'll heve something interesting.

And I am probably the only person who HATED "A Million Little Pieces". Frey can write, but I just couldn't stomach the subject matter. I found it completely self-indulgent and repetitive. How many life-altering relationships and moments can one person HAVE, anyway? Reminded me of "Eat, Pray, Love" or whatever that narcissistic crap was.