The most important lesson Oprah Winfrey learned from her 25-year talk show was to “want to know we matter.”
To end Variety’s Power of Women luncheon, sponsored by Lifetime, Oprah Winfrey gave a motivational message. Winfrey and “Queen Sugar” co-star Ava DuVernay, who together helped the OWN series become a platform for female directors, were both honored during the ceremony. For “establishing the OWN network” and “reflecting black families,” Winfrey praised “Queen Sugar.”
Winfrey declared, “We are all seeking the same thing. The one thing I learned from working on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is this. We all want to feel important, and we want a program that reflects our ideals, which is the common thread connecting our experiences.
The OWN drama series “Queen Sugar,” which created history with the duo’s choice to solely recruit women to helm the series’ 7-season, 88-episode run, was the topic of DuVernay’s introduction of Winfrey.
Shaz Bennett, Kat Candler, Patricia Cardoso, DeMane Davis, Aurora Guerrero, Stacey Muhammad, and Victoria Mahoney were seven of the 42 female directors who worked on the show. They walked the red carpet in support of Winfrey and DuVernay, and more “Queen Sugar” directors took the stage before Winfrey delivered her stirring speech.
The show’s directors, in the words of Winfrey, “have done something revolutionary.” “Maya, oh my God, you should have been there for the launching of the school because the school is going to be my greatest legacy,” I remarked to her when I returned from opening my school.
You don’t know what your legacy will be, she continued. Oh no, I believe it will actually be those girls, I exclaimed. She responded, “I told her, “You have no idea what your legacy will be since it never consists of just one item.
Every life you touch leaves a legacy for you. As a result, I consider all the tales, programs, and lives impacted as a result of [Ava’s] suggestion [to recruit female directors].
Winfrey and DuVernay revealed the beginnings of their audacious “Queen Sugar” mandate in their Power of Women cover story.
I distinctly recall Ava’s phone conversation, in which she said, “I have this idea: What if we just had all women directors?” Winfrey remarked. I think, “All female directors? Could we do that? “Yeah, we can do that,” replies Ava.
“Because you own the network,” DuVernay added.
DuVernay believed that Winfrey’s OWN was essential to the success of this.
We actually heard all of these things, including, “It won’t last. The problem is that there aren’t enough female directors. DuVernay recalls the man saying, “This is simply a fluke. But after seven seasons, this has developed into a significant trend in episodic directing that will continue to influence our profession for many years to come.
The two talked discussed the legacy of “Queen Sugar,” which is currently airing its seventh and final season on OWN.
The fact that this is the longest-running dramatic television show with a Black family at its heart tells a lot about American television in general, according to DuVernay.
She said, pointing out the lack of these situations, “We have to question, ‘Why has this not happened? Why hasn’t this been started and developed? Why hasn’t anyone noticed and celebrated it? I believe that our industry should be examining each of these issues. What will replace “Queen Sugar” now that she has vanished?
Irving is the Chief Editor at the Landscape Insight. He lives just outside of New York. His writings have also been featured in some very famous magazines. When he isn’t reading the source material for a piece or decompressing with a comfort horror movie, Irving is usually somewhere in his car.