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Billionaire Oprah Winfrey Is Suing Podcasters for ‘Misappropriating’ Logo to Promote Show, She Doesn’t Want Money but Design Change

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has proven again she’s all business. The former Daytime Talk Show Queen is suing the hosts of the Winfrey-inspired podcast “Oprahdemics” for using a logo that looks too much like her own.

ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 05: Oprah Winfrey attends Tyler Perry Studios Grand Opening Gala – Arrivals at Tyler Perry Studios on October 5, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

Winfrey’s company, Harpo, has filed suit against up-and-coming podcasters Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur. The pair launched “Oprahdemics” a year ago. On the podcast, they discuss all things Winfrey.

The two friends who host “Oprahdemics” describe themselves as “Oprah-obsessives.”

Who are the ‘Oprah-obsessives’?

When not hosting and executive producing the podcast, Jackson is an associate professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College, focusing on slavery and abolitionists, political violence, historical film, and Black women’s history. She is the author of “Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence.”

Kellie Carter Jackson (L) and Leah Wright Rigueu

Host Leah Wright Rigueur is an associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and a faculty fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. She focuses on 20th Century U.S. political, social and civil rights history, while her expertise also includes race, political ideology, American political institutions and the American presidency. She is the author of the book “The Loneliness of the Black Republican.” Rigueur is currently working on a new book, “Black Collar Criminals.” 

Harpo is suing Rigueur and Jackson as well as their production company, Roulette Productions, for trademark infringement.

O: The Media mogul

Self-made billionaire Winfrey is reportedly worth $2.6 billion as of mid-2022.  She founded her multimedia production company Harpo Productions in 1986. She is founder of O, The Oprah Magazine, and, in 2008, she formed her own network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She was the reigning daytime TV queen for years as her successful “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ran nationally for 25 seasons from 1986 to 2011.

Inside the trademark battle

Harpo claims “Oprahdemics” is specifically utilizing a giant “O” that Harpo says is just an attempt to create confusion as to whether Oprah is involved with the podcast, according to court documents obtained by Finurah.

The lawsuit said the podcast team not only used the logo for their 15-plus-episode first season, but for IG live chats, Q&As in NYC and even during a plug on “Good Morning America.”

According to court papers, Harpo “does not seek monetary damages or profits,” nor does Harpo “seek to prohibit the defendants from airing a podcast series on their chosen topic.” Winfrey just wants them to change the logo.

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