COMMENTARY | Isn’t it too soon for Oprah to be interviewing Bobbi Kristina Brown?
The media queen sat down for an exclusive interview with Bobbi Kristina a mere two weeks after Whitney Houston’s burial. The segment is set to air March 11 on Oprah’s OWN Network.
Oprah gained exclusivity because of her close relationship with Houston, but the quick grab for an exclusive is disrespectful. This isn’t just any loss — Bobbi Kristina is mourning her pop icon mother under fierce public scrutiny. Houston’s only child was admitted to the hospital after Houston’s death and reportedly had a nervous breakdown following the funeral. The family has denied rumors that Bobbi Kristina has a substance abuse problem.
The environment surrounding Houston’s death has been anything but peaceful, beleaguered by the Houston family’s open conflicts with her ex and father to Bobbi Kristina, Bobby Brown. Family attempts for privacy have been beset with insider leaks of sensitive information at the death scene and funeral. Toxicology reports are pending.
Despite the tragic circumstances, Oprah was in Atlanta last week to interview Bobbi Kristina for the highly publicized upcoming segment.
It is not surprising Houston’s family wants to have the last word in Whitney Houston’s legacy. The world has mourned Houston’s death like few others. The public naturally looks to her only child, who has a beautiful voice, to carry on the legacy of Houston’s unmatched talent.
We are rooting for Bobbi Kristina and hoping for the best, despite her dysfunctional upbringing. Bobbi Kristina grew up with celebrity parents marred in substance abuse and domestic strife. Shocking headlines and unflattering photos of her inebriated parents along with an embarrassing reality series were part of her formative years. The 19-year-old sought assistance from a mental health facility in 2008 for an alleged suicide attempt. Clearly, she has not had it easy.
Thrusting her in front of the camera mere weeks after her mother died is the last thing on the list of things that will help her rebuild her life.
This isn’t Oprah’s first interview with grieving offspring. She also interviewed Michael Jackson’s children five months after Jackson died. According to the kids’ aunt, Latoya Jackson, the interview was good for the kids and made them stronger. This could be true but they were quite younger and they did not have a troubled history.
Yes, it is important for the family to quell rumors and have the world see Whitney in the loving light of her daughter’s eyes. Yes, Bobbi Kristina probably is anxious to replace hurtful gossip with loving personal memories. The Houston family may argue that Bobbi Kristina very much wants to do this — that it’s therapeutic for her. But granting an interview “as quickly as possible,” in Latoya’s words, shows Whitney’s family is putting public opinion ahead of Bobbi Kristina’s well-being.
At least Oprah is poised to earn the high ratings she so desperately needs on her OWN Network. Time will tell if the glorified interview melds into the long list of things that will keep Bobbi Kristina living in the shadows of her mother’s glory and vice.
Sneak Preview: Oprah Interviews Whitney Houston’s Family
A World Exclusive: Oprah Talk to Michael Jackson’s Mother Katherine and Visits with his Children