Rapper 50 Cent's interview with Elle Magazine continues to gain momentum this week, fueled by popular radio talk show host Wendy Williams appearance on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" where she and Syracuse Professor Dr. Boyce Watkins discussed Oprah Winfrey's policy not to book rappers on her show.
50 Cent told Elle that "She (Oprah) started out with black women's views but has been catering to middle-aged white American women for so long that she's become one herself."
Rapper Ice Cube has commented: "She's had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I'm not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?"
In GQ magazine, Ludacris called Oprah "unfair" and said that she edited his comments (on her show) and lectured him about his music.
Now one online gambling website has set odds on whether 50 Cent will appear as a guest on Oprah Winfrey before the end of February 2007.
Bodog.com (see website here) doesn't think so and has listed odds that 50 Cent will not appear on Oprah at -300. If he does, the payout will be rewarding: A $10 bet would pay out $20. A $50 bet would pay out $100. And of course you can bet on all your favorite sports in the process.
"Wendy Williams has a very strong listening base not to mention her show on VH1," comments Peyton O'Brien, Entertainment Reporter for Gambling911.com. "If she and others continue to discuss this story, Oprah may have no other choice but to address it. I mean, surely nothing can be worse than having a couch jumping Tom Cruise on the show, right?"
Dr. Watkins argued that Oprah's issues with hard-core rappers such as Ludacris, Fifty Cent and Ice Cube may stem from issues that Oprah has with black men in general. "If you have a Nobel Prize next to your Oscar, next to your Grammy, you are in good with Oprah. But after that, you have to be on the down low, beat your wife or do something terrible to get her attention. Rank and file black men doing positive things in their communities tend to be ignored."
Dr. Watkins also believes that much of Winfrey's challenging relationship with black men may stem from her abusive childhood. "She was abused by a black man as a child, and the fact that she is such an open soul leaves those issues for the world to see," says Watkins, who has made regular appearances on shows such as Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith (ESPN), Hannity & Colmes, and many others.
Watkins does, however, note that rappers such as Ice Cube and Ludacris should not complain about not being invited on her show. "Oprah is a champion for women's rights, and you write songs degrading women," says Watkins, who is the Business and Finance editor for Inspire Magazine. "Why in the world would you think that she would want you on her show anyway? You have to take responsibility for the statements you make."
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