Sunday, December 27, 2009


Of the readers who responded to an unscientific poll on my column's blog, 52 percent believed that Oprah Winfrey was wrong to remove singer BeBe Winans from her talk show after several viewers complained about his appearing when 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, so the viewer complaints led to Winans being removed from the show. Several promotions showing Winans, as well as one of the taped shows, had already aired.

"Sounds like Oprah Winfrey used situational ethics," one reader writes. "She was willing to have Winans on the show until viewers protested."

"There was definitive and very public proof of what happened with Chris Brown," another reader writes. "She shouldn't have put him on until the case was heard and charges dismissed."

Check out other opinions here, or post your own by clicking on "Comments" or "Post a comment" below.

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, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to or to "The Right Thing," New York Times Syndicate, 630 Eighth Ave., 5th floor, New York, N.Y. 10018.

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

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