(LOS ANGELES) — Oprah Winfrey took OWN viewers to a land far away in an Oprah’s Next Chapter special on India this past weekend, and ended up receiving criticism from other viewers who watched the two-hour special as it was simulcast on Discovery Channel India. Some DCI viewers said Oprah seemed “arrogant” and “ignorant.”
Winfrey, with cameras in tow, trekked to a slum in Mumbai and also attended an upscale Bollywood party hosted in her honor. Some viewers criticized Oprah for asking dinner guests, “I heard some Indian people eat with their hands still?”
In an open letter on CNN-IBN, a news website jointly run by CNN and Network18, Rituparna Chatterjee complained, “We are used to gross Western ignorance regarding our ancient country. But as a responsible public figure about to air a show that will be beamed across the world, you should have done your homework.”
It was the slum visit that rubbed Firstpost.com writer Rajyasree Sen the wrong way. “[Oprah] marveled at how all their clothes fit onto a small shelf. She pointedly avoided any mention of the massive LCD TV, which adorned their wall. That would have killed the sob story.” Sen called the special “unaware” and “ignorant.”
Winfrey and OWN have not responded to the viewer complaints.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Noelle Baldwin, Deseret News