Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: Why Wendy Will Dominate on TV

by Dr Boyce Watkins


The first time I appeared on "The Wendy Williams Experience," I was admittedly a wee bit concerned. I didn't know as much as I should have about Wendy, but I did know that she was ferocious. I was being invited on her show to talk about Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, 50 Cent and Ice Cube. There was a beef between hip hop and the Oprah crowd, and Wendy seemed to feel that I could be a good referee.

I didn't mind standing in the middle of this conversation, because I have respect for both sides of the fence. Hip hop is one of the most powerful creative art forms in the history of the world, but it also possesses tremendous problems, primarily due to the impact of selective commercialization within the context of socially irresponsible corporate models. Oprah, on the other hand, is one of the most amazing and prolific public figures I've ever seen. But she is also not without her issues as it pertains to dealing with black men. I respect all sides, but I am not afraid to critique all sides when necessary.

In my first appearance on Wendy's show, I met her incredibly efficient producer,Nicole Spence. I was sad to see Wendy and Nicole fall out, because I honestly feel that they needed each other. But I digress. Before the show, Nicole told me, point blank: "The interview is going to last for at least 20 minutes. It will only be longer if Wendy likes you."

Okey-dokey then. Either we would hit it off nicely or she would put the hook around my neck like the Apollo Theatre. Wendy is not polite enough to care if she hurts your feelings, so I knew she would only keep talking to me if I could give her good commentary. In front of 11 million listeners, we were going to be feeling each other out. The pressure was on, but I respond well to pressure and confront all challenges head on. In fact, I almost always win.

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