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Sunday, November 22, 2009

SOUND OFF: OPRAH'S KARAOKE CHALLENGE

Singer BeBe Winans taped several appearances on Oprah Winfrey's talk show. After promotions showing Winans aired, however, as well as one of the taped shows, some viewers complained about his appearance because domestic-violence charges brought against him by his ex-wife are still pending. Winfrey had banned singer Chris Brown from her show after he battered the singer Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time, and in response to the complaints Winans was removed from the show.

Was it right for Winfrey to ban Winans, given her long-standing concern about domestic abuse? Or was it wrong, given that he has denied the charges and the case won't be heard until January? Does it matter that he had already taped his segments for the show, or that the charges were widely known before he did so?

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Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to
rightthing@nytimes.com or to "The Right Thing," New York Times Syndicate, 620 Eighth Ave., 5th floor, New York, N.Y. 10018.

c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Oprah Winfrey used situational ethics......willing to have Winans on the show until viewers protested.

singtothe said...

there was definative and very public proof off what happened with chris brown and maybe the other case wasn't as clear cut or publicized? she shouldn't have put him on untill the case was heard and charges dismissed. anyway i'm just looking for rhianna's karaoke songs for a party!