Oprah Winfrey Fans’ Podcast ‘Must Change Name’, Lawsuit Says

Oprah Winfrey
Credit: @oprah/Instagram

The company owned by Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Inc., is suing the creators of the Oprahdemics podcast over the use of her name.

According to the New York Post, the podcast implies the show’s name has had Winfrey’s blessing, the trademark infringement case in Manhattan Federal Court charges.

‘Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur are using the Oprahdemics name without permission, slapping it not just on their podcast but on live events as well’, Harpo Inc. allege in the legal papers.

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They said: “Over the past thirty-five plus years, the Oprah brand has become well known and famous.

“Simply being associated with the Oprah brand has, in many cases, led to an exponential increase in a product’s or service’s sales.

“This has been colloquially referred to as the ‘The Oprah Effect’ or ‘The O Factor.’”

The first season of the Oprahdemics finished with a live show at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 15.

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After the event, Jackson and Rigueur hosted another event on Instagram Live, according to the complaint.

The Oprahdemics website reads: “Look under your seat… it’s a new podcast! Two historians (and friends) break down Oprah’s most iconic episodes, and what the Queen of Talk has meant for our culture.”

Harpo, which is Oprah spelt backwards, isn’t seeking damages, the NY Post says.

The company merely wants the podcast to change its name ‘so as not to dilute the brand’, according to court papers.

The outlet says attorneys for Harpo, Inc. did not return their enquiries.

A producer for Roulette Productions, the company behind the podcast, called it ‘a journalistic exploration by history professors and sincere, longtime fans of Oprah Winfrey’.

The spokesperson said: “This comes from a place of both deep admiration and critical thinking. Kellie and Leah are remarkable hosts.

“Roulette Productions produces Oprahdemics and has been engaged with the team at Harpo for some time — while genuinely surprised by this, we hope to resolve it.”

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.