Quickies: Don Thompson. Oprah Winfrey. Wendy Williams


1. Do you know this guy?


His name’s Don Thompson. And he’s the president of McDonald’s. He was on one of the morning news programs, hawking McDonald’s newest coffee line, poised to compete with Starbucks.

And of course, though I’m trying so hard to be post-racial, I did a double-take. The president of McDonald’s is Black? Nice.

I really don’t want to take note of these things. (It’s silly when you think about it. His skin color doesn’t mean we share the same beliefs or politics. And for a million reasons, McDonald’s is not a company I’m pumping my fists for. ) Will I ever see a Black person in a position of power and really not take notice?

Does anyone remember when Jet magazine used to have a section in the back of the magazine that would tell you when Black people would be on television? (Please tell me they don’t still do that).

Near the end of the magazine, right before the music charts that seemed based on the receptionist’s opinion, there was a list: Whoopi Goldberg will be on Star Trek...Robert Guillame will be on Benson…Arsenio Hall will be on Arsenio Hall.

Hard to believe it now but there was a time when it was rare to see Black folks on television. Forget about seeing Black folks running companies like McDonald’s or, you know, being the leader of the free world.

I’m reading this book right now called Dancing In The Street: Motown and The Cultural History of Detroit. In the book, the author discusses protests that were taking place at Ford assembly lines in the late 60s. At one protest, one of the demands from the Black auto works was a Black foreman. No other qualifications: just a Black man.

There was a time when just being Black was enough. It was an automatic that you were on the Team. But such is not the case anymore. We’re a wide spectrum of thoughts and ideas.

Take this dude for example:


Michael Steele, head of the Republican National Committee. He was on a radio show recently. A caller complained about Obama's positive press coverage, referring to the presdient as a "Magic Negro." This dude Steele laughed and said, "well, yeah..."

We’re all not the same. I need to stop knee-jerk cheering for my people. I think.

2. Is Oprah for real?


Last year, Oprah had a guest on her show named Kathy Freston. Freston wrote a book called Quantum Wellness. The tidbits I read about the idea of quantum wellness really blew my mind. It was all about really thinking about how food ends up at your table. And giving serious thought to what you put into your mouth. Freston advocates something called a 21-Day Cleanse. You eat no animal products, (no meat, dairy, nothing…), no white sugar, no caffeine and no gluten. Oprah did it. And blogged about it.

TH and I did it. And it was hard as hell. But once I got the hang of it, I liked it. Actually ended up doing it for even longer than 21 days. I lost nearly 15 pounds. TH lost even more. And the way we approached food after that was just different. Even though I’m eating meat and dairy again, I’ve never looked at either the same again.

Very powerful stuff. And I urge you to Google 21-day cleanse and think about giving it a try.

That Oprah can really put you on to some good stuff when she’s of a mind to it.

So why the hell is this woman offering a free meal from KFC on her website?

Yup. Here’s the link. You can download a coupon for two pieces of grilled chicken, two side dishes and a biscuit. For free.

Okay, so it is a grilled chicken give-a-way. A grilled breast is only 180 calories with just 4 grams of fat. And if you add sides like green beans and corn on the cob, it’s not really a bad choice, as fast-food goes.

But I just don’t want to see the words Oprah and KFC and free coupon in the same sentence. It takes me right back to my issues with KFC’s original free chicken offer.

As my dear reader awesomely luvvie would say: iCan’t.

3. Where is Wendy Williams?


If you’re in the New York area, or in one of the cities in which The Wendy Williams Experience is syndicated, you know she’s been MIA for over a week.

I’m a hardcore Wendy-nista. If I get in the car between two and six and I hear old-school R&B and some generic announcer, I get twitchy.

I missed the show last week. Turns out her husband/manager came up to the show, along with her former co-host, Charlemagne. For all the details, check out this website. (By the way, I like this chick’s blog. Minimal. Good stuff I haven’t seen all over the ‘net. And reading her feels like I’m talking to Wendy.)

So she’s off the air. And I’m hoping she’s only suspended. Not fired.

But what’s up with this husband of hers? Is it true that he’s abusive, as her former talent booker alleges? Did anyone else hear the two of them on the Howard Stern show last year? Kevin didn’t let her get a word in edgewise and it sort of freaked me out.

I don’t know about that dude. But I do know this. Something’s up with my girl Wendy. Something big.

I went to the show with Faith Evans to promote the book last summer. Sat right next to Wendy and cracked the mike. Faith sat across from both of us and I watched the two of them interact.

There was something off about Wendy. Maybe it’s just the thyroid condition that makes her eyes seem enlarged.  But she just seemed…troubled. The kind of trouble that you mask with a lot of makeup, really big hair and a painted on smile.

When we were done with our segment and they went to commercial, Faith and Wendy started talking about random stuff while I just watched.

And I noticed that Wendy was just talking at us. Not to us. She was looking at a fixed point in the studio and just talking. No eye contact. Just…talking.

I kept looking around to see if she was talking to someone in the studio that I couldn’t see. But she wasn’t.

And her voice was just one octave too loud. Not enough to really throw you off. But enough for me to notice.

It was as if there was no distinction between her on-air self, (where you speak loud into thin air with no one around) and her real-life self.

It was spooky.

I’m not making any judgment calls. I was only there for 20 minutes. And maybe that’s just how she gets down when she’s at work.

But there’s something there with Wendy. I’d like to know what it is.

dear readers: Black folks running McDonald’s, Oprah hooking us up with–of all things–free chicken?!, Wendy Williams and her latest suspension…Discuss.

I’d love to hear from you….

17 Responses to “Quickies: Don Thompson. Oprah Winfrey. Wendy Williams”

  1. Luvvie Says:

    Aliya! Gurl I was forced to write a sternly-worded letter to Oprah on my blog today about this Free Fowl Frenzy that she not only acknowledges, but endorses. iCan’t with her on this one and I STAN for Lady O. She clearly learned nothing from the Popeye’s Fiasco. *shaking head* I sweahfoGAWD and 3 wise white men. IF someone starts giving away bacon or chitlins, there will be mayhem in these streets and I will be the leader.

  2. Luvvie Says:

    Oh and Wendy Williams is mad entertaining. But something bout her just dont curl all the way over (Like lil Luther. R.I.P.).

  3. jay1 Says:

    whats the big deal with oprah and free chicken? oprah hasn’t been black in forever, you ever see the audience on that show?

    and i personally don’t know any black people who eat at kfc. kfc is crazy expensive compared to the little neighborhood chicken places like kennedy fried chicken or churches chicken or whatever. those places are just as good and like half the price of kfc.

    also, that mcdonalds dude is just a figure head. mcdonalds food is some of the worst shit you can put in your body but they advertise almost exclusively to blacks so it would look CRAZY if they had a white president. have you seen these mcdonalds ads on tv? people singing R&B love songs about mcnuggets?!

    i don’t listen to wendy but i’ve met her at a party and i could tell in the 30 seconds i was around her that she was nuts. she’s funny though.

  4. Aliya S. King Says:

    @jay1 and luvvie. Wait? So am I the only person who never knew that Wendy was a little off? I swear she seems completely sane on the radio…

  5. la negrita Says:

    Although I’ve been entertained by Ms. Williams in the past, I would never keep someone like her in my circle. She’s a mean-spirited bully that thrives off the popularity she derives at other people’s expense. After a while, it just stops being funny. I, for one, would not be surprised to find out that she’s very troubled. Even though it’s her job, you have to wonder about people who get off on constantly ragging on others. It’s always better when the joke’s on someone else, right?

  6. Del Says:

    I’m back, NYTBA!

    I don’t see anything wrong with the Oprah/KFC free chicken giveaway. But I do see the room for mockery. Free chicken? I mean the possibilities are endless. LOL But you know something, this may really help some family somewhere make ends meet this week. You never know. What’s ghetto is when people print the coupons and make about 20 copies for their entire family.

    Wendy is hilarious. Maybe you caught her fresh off a botox session? And yes, her hubby is straight hood. Period. But she has publicly said she loves a good “choke out.” That’s when her husband…well…chokes her during sex. Is a good choke out like a gateway drug to full blown physical abuse? Hmmm.

    McDonald’s is disgusting. And their fries are OVERRATED. There. I said it!

  7. Timothy Says:

    Black man working at mickey ds with power, just awesome…but I’m really curious to know if he started on fries

    Oprah can do no wrong ever in my book after doing what she did for those girls in Africa and their new school.

    Wendy Williams either sold her soul or has a hole in her soul.

  8. Aliya S. King Says:

    @timothy: Dude from McDonald’s has a background in engineering. started out as an electrical engineer for the company…

  9. Timothy Says:

    Wow that’s interesting for an engineering professional to rise to that position. He’s obviously very talented.

  10. Kenesha Says:

    See what Oprah has wrought with her free chicken promotion, a sit-in in NY! http://gothamist.com/2009/05/06/kfcs_denial_of_grilled_chicken_give.php

    My co-worker had been using the Oprah coupon as a form of charity, printing them out and giving them to homeless people in DC.

    Wendy looks crazy and her husband definitely is crazy.

  11. Wayne Abbott Says:

    Yes JET still does the TV appearance list. Check it out on the Google Book Archives – http://books.google.com/books?id=5joDAAAAMBAJ&dq=jet&source=gbs_all_issues_r&cad=2_2&atm_aiy=1950#all_issues_anchor

  12. SoSoulfull Says:

    Go Don! Personally, whether we share the same views or not, I smile inside at the sight of black folks in a position of influence, including Michael Steele’s crazy behind. Wendy is funny to me. I miss her show on VH-1, but yea I can’t take her too seriously. She’s just doing her job to entertain/gossip. Though I’d love for it to be every black celeb’s lot in life to consistently sprew positivity/empowerment, I know I’d be a fool to hold onto that notion. I agree w/Del regarding Oprah’s free chicken promo; some family somewhere is making ends meet w/this coupon. Now that story outta NYC is just so depressing… smdh at these franchises and their independent foolery.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    ms. king did i tell you how much i love your blog!

  14. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Wayne: wow. That is insane.

  15. WWeston Says:

    Yeah, I have to admit this blog is strangely interesting. Oh, I find my self at work thinking about talking foods. The pop tart ad captured how the food should feel. You killed it with the interview. Do you get paid for your blog? You should.

    I digress, maybe the black man will provide more inexpensive HEALTHY food choices. Unfortunately I do like the (Mc)nuggets. Don’t they have a fajita or something.

  16. jovi Says:

    I printed out my coupon and can’t wait to go. Will be pissed if they deny me my FREE chicken. May not eat but I like free stuff, lol.

    Wendy is crazy. From her antics I would assume that she may like a good choke or eye jammy every now and then from her hubby. Crazy begets crazy. She is hiding her pain under the laughter and makeup.

  17. Aliya S. King Says:

    @jovi: um. I’m hearing that the KFC promotion is officially CANCELLED. Click here for details. Sorry, girl.

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