Oprah, Iyanla, and Phil

United States
February 4, 2007 9:23pm CST
Does anyone remember a few years back when Oprah was just introducing the oh-so-down-to-earth Dr. Phil to her studio audience as well as to her wide viewing audience? Do you remember that he was on her show once a week or at least once a month? She let him have at his magical workings and play on her stage with the fragile minds and psyches of her viewers for about a year before she helped to launch his career. I remember it well. In fact, I must admit that I was one of the original Dr. Phil FanClub Fans - I was a Phan 'O Phil! Yeppers - that was me! At the same time, Oprah was also not only working on getting our psyciatric needs met, she was also wanting to aid us in our Spirituality. She introduced the most amazing African American woman, Iyanla VanZant. She came on just as regularly as Dr. Phil did; but she was so full of inspiration and motivation. She was non-judgemental and did not sit on a throne (although she is a priestess). When she first started writing books, her target audience was limited to black women. Then she realized that not only sisters of color could use her information but there were white sisters that were married to black brothers that needed her; then she realized that by being limiting she was being racist and opened her heart to being all inclusive. I loved this woman. Dr. Phil got a daily program. Iyanla disappeared. I wrote to the Oprah show many times asking what had happened to Iyanla only to never get a response. About a year or so ago I found Iyanla, she is a "Life Coach" on a daytime reality show type series that I can't remember the name of. Isn't it amazing how true it is, when they say, "It's all about who you know and who you make friends with". I wonder what happened between Iyanla and Oprah. For anyone that has not read any of Iyanla's books and needs a little spirituality or inspiration, I strongly urge you to at least go and pick up a used copy of anything she has writtenn ~Donna
10 people like this
23 responses
• United States
5 Feb 07
These people that Oprah hires are like a new pair of shoes. They do not stay on a persons feet for too long. I use to watch Oprah sometimes, but since I have gotten a new job, and I went back to school, and I have had no time to do anything, I do not watch Oprah anymore.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 07
Rogue, First I must say that I love your avatar! Then I will add that it certainly doesn't look as though the good doctor is going anywhere for a while at least. I saw on a commercial where he and his wife spent time at the white house with the president and his wife for the christmas holiday. I don't know if it was a television program or a sit down dinner; but I do hope they all had a great time ~Donna
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
5 Feb 07
Yes I remember when Oprah introduced Dr. Phil to her studio audience as well as to all of us, but I never seen Iyanla VanZant, but it certainly is all about who we know and where we are going in life I love Dr. Phil and watch him every day of the week apart from the weekends and have learnt a lot.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 07
Kathy, Thank you for your comments and response. I am happy for you also, that Dr. Phil has helped you and gives you what you need when you watch him daily ~Donna
@mansha (6315)
• India
5 Feb 07
Iyanla, I have never heard of her, but yes I am a fan of straight forward no-nonsense Dr. Phil. Oprah not only helped ame his career but also helped us to be brutally honest with ourselves and reach the core of our troubles. Only thing i learned from Dr. Phil is I am the cause of all the problems and not the others. I let myself in to situations that trouble me and choose to stay there, and I am the only one that can help me get out of this too.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 07
Thank you so much for your response and comments and I am happy that you have gained insight from Dr. Phil. ~Donna
@coolcatzz (1589)
• Canada
11 Feb 07
I can't honestly say I remember this Iyanla at all. I'm drawing a complete blank. Now I watch Oprah all the time and very rarely miss an episode unless it's something that just doesn't interest me at all. I love Dr Phil too. I remember he use to come on every Wednesday and I looked forward to those shows. You are right it all depends on who you know. Oprah is backing Rachel Ray's show too and it's doing very well. I think everything Oprah touches turns to gold. I wish I had that power. LOL I have written into Oprah and never got responses but I know they must get tons and tons of emails and it's almost next to impossible to get through them all. Now I have the 20th Anniversary DVD series which my daughter got me for Christmas but I haven't had time to sit down and watch it yet but when I do I'll watch and see if she is on it at all. Maybe that will jar my memory.
@birthlady (5613)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Iyanla didn't disappear! I've read all her books, she is wonderful, I've wept so many growing tears with her in my heart as I read her books, and watched her on television! She was on the show "Starting Over House" (something like that) where women moved into a house and rebuilt their lives! Iyanla was the head mama there. She has a website too. And a ministry.
2 people like this
@Julia1970 (410)
• United States
5 Feb 07
I love Iyanla too! I have some of her books and they really helped me. Sometimes a girl just has to her things from another woman who has been there and done that. Whatever happened to her?
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 07
Julia, From some of the responses this discussion has gotten, perhaps we need to get together and start some sort of grassroots movement to get her back into the public eye. She is a source of inspiration. She is a leader without being a threatener. ~Donna
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 07
You just tell me when and what to do!
1 person likes this
@joelofcow (193)
• United States
5 Feb 07
WOw i always asked that same questiong u have done your studies.THen again oprah is responcible for alot of things,now dr.phil is almost bigger than her[and i dont think she likes it]
• United States
5 Feb 07
I don't know how Oprah feels about Dr. Phil, but I'm sure that she gets some residual monies from him; and if that be the case I figure she wishes him the world of the best ~Donna
@patgalca (11214)
• Canada
17 Feb 07
Dr. Phil's show is a Harpo production, therefore Oprah does get residuals to be sure!
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 07
But I do think Iyanla was a better fit, I like her style of "self-help" but I don't think she had a target audience, maybe that's how you felt
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 07
Yes, my dear, I wish that I had seen this second page and your second post before I had replied. And you are probably right; but how could people possibly not respond to someone with an honest, warm, caring approach as she has, as opposed to the arrogant, know-it-all, do-as-I-say, and if you don't do-as-my-wife-and-son says doctor? People never cease to amaze?? ~Donna
• United States
5 Feb 07
This thread seems very ignorant and racist to me, WHAT THE HECK IS A BLACK ACCENT?
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 07
Fiyah, I am only hoping that you are not lableing the entire subject racist. I can understand your comment in light of the first response; but there is no racism at all behind my question. In fact, it is quite the opposite - almost reverse racism. I cannot understand how Dr. Phil got promoted so widely and Iyanla sort of fell out of Oprah's good graces for so long of a period. ~Donna
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 07
you are not the only one who wondered where this woman went. It seems she vanished...I don't know if her and oprah had words...But I did like her.
• United States
5 Feb 07
She is still around; but on a daytime reality show as a "Life Coach"; and from what I gather from one of the comments above, that program has been cancelled ~Donna
@razcal2267 (15577)
• United States
5 Feb 07
Iyanla VanZant - at a book signing
Iyanla VanZant went on to be one of the life coaches on the reality show Starting Over from season 2 until it ended. You are right though it truly is who you know that can take you places. If I remember correctly Iyanla was given her own talk show that was produced by Barbara Walters, maybe that is why she disappeared from Oprah's show.
• United States
5 Feb 07
I was totally shocked when I changed channels one day to see one of my s/heros on a reality show! I didn't actually see her as my back was turned replacing the remote when I heard that elegant, soft, commanding, and so gently firm voice that I recognized so well. The voice that had lulled me into Awakeness when my disability was first kicking in. It saddened me to see her there. I did catch a couple episodes of the talk show you referred to, but at that time of my life I was in bed most all of the time and totally supported by pillows and sleeping the biggest part of the time. I was also unaware that Barbara Walters had anything to do with it. Maybe I need to start a letter/email campaign there!~Donna
@willocfc (965)
• Australia
5 Feb 07
If it wasnt for oprah she probably wouldn't have got her own show with starting over, she is a producer and creator of the show also, Its just that the ratings having been as popular for that show as they are for doctor phil, oprah can only give them a start she cant run thier lives for them. They are actually still good friends and keep in contact regulally as oprah stated in a recent interview.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 07
Thank you for your response and comment. I am sorry that I missed the interview where Oprah said they are still in contact and are still friends. As I stated in my original discussion, I have written to Oprah numerous times asking about Iyanla. I have never expected a communication directly from Oprah; but I did expect acknowledgment of receipt of my letters and/or emails from her staff. It does please me that you had this information though Thank you ~Donna
• Austria
15 Mar 07
yes I remember Iyanla. I even started taping her on Oprah when she talked about being in the house and living in the attic or something to that effect. I still have the tapes in storage somewhere.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Feb 07
It is true that it is all about who you know. But it is also about the audiance that you tend to reach. I think that the problem initiated with the fact that Iyanla's fan base began with solely african american women. Once we are put into a category it can often be hard to break out of that. Another posibility is that she didn't want all of the direct fame. Maybe she wanted an opportunity to make a positive impact on peoples lives without all of the "lime light". And if you really look at what she is doing now, that is it. She is still working with people to help them make positive changes in their own lives. I still like Dr. Phil, and I am glad for hom. He appears to be good at what he does, and I say keep up the good work. And It could just be that he made some more impactful choices.
1 person likes this
@sharone74 (4840)
• United States
17 Feb 07
thanks for the heads up Donna. I don't watch TV haven't since 2004 really so I have no idea who Oprah has on her show. I like to try to support the efforts of women of color that write so I will definitely look for her books. Do you think they could be on Amazon.com?
@feralwoman (2199)
• Australia
17 Feb 07
Hi there - I don't watch Oprah that much these days, but I do remember Dr Phil and Iyanla. I was under the impression that Iyanla was one of Oprah's good friends, if that's the case then I think it's pretty grotty of Oprah to have abandoned her mate in order to promote another's career. Don't think I'll watch her anymore lol!
1 person likes this
@patgalca (11214)
• Canada
17 Feb 07
I remember Iyanla on Oprah but she certainly was not on as often as Dr. Phil. It was Dr. Phil Tuesdays! He was on every Tuesday. Cheryl Richardson has also been on Oprah a few times, and now Dr. Robyn. Could it be possible that Oprah offered to help some of these amazing guests start up shows and they declined? That is possible, you know. Cheryl Richardson has quite an empire - books, grace cards, seminars, newsletters. She doesn't have time for a TV show. But who knows she wasn't offered one? Heck, Gayle King had her own talk show for awhile and who the heck is she other than Oprah's friend? Nobody. Guess that's why her show didn't last. Something else to consider... don't we have enough darn talk shows on TV? Hey, Montel has Sylvia Brown on every Wednesday. Why don't they just get her her own show? How many aspiring writers out there have had people say to you that when your book is published they will see you on Oprah. Like Oprah is going to pick any book of mine! And I'm definitely not going to pull a James Frey. LOL!
1 person likes this
@Michele21 (3099)
• United States
17 Feb 07
I never saw Iyana on Oprah, the show she was on was Starting Over. I don't think it is on anymore. She didn't hold my attention as well as Dr.Phil does.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Feb 07
Wow yes I do remember her! and that is true the power of influence! holy moly until you said something I didn't know she was gone! Ok will do going to the book store right now!
1 person likes this
@shawn2008 (296)
• United States
6 Feb 07
hmm thats interesting. i actually can barley remember anyone besides dr phil. its kind of odd how she was just cast aside as well. i wonder why that was... maybe it was the politically correct politics crap again. you did say she dealt with spirituality after all 0.0. i bet thats what it was.