Oprah Winfrey’s Production Company Sues ‘Oprahdemics’ Podcast For ‘Capitalizing On The Goodwill’ Of The Media Personality’s Brand & The ‘O Family’ Trademarks

Oprah Winfrey’s Production Company Sues ‘Oprahdemics’ Podcast For ‘Capitalizing On The Goodwill’ Of The Media Personality’s Brand & The ‘O Family’ Trademarks

Oprah Winfrey isn’t playing any games when it comes to her name and likeness.

According to reports, Harpo Inc., the multimedia production company founded by the famed media personality, is suing podcasters for their “misleading” Oprahdemics title and logo.

Oprahdemics is a podcast on the Roulette Productions network, hosted by college professors Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur. The two are being accused of capitalizing on what is referred to as “The Oprah Effect.” As you may already know, Oprah Winfrey is so famous that she’s known worldwide by just her first name and many people can easily recognize her iconic “O” logo.

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On Tuesday (Aug. 9), in the New York Federal court, Attorney Tamara Carmichael of Dorsey & Whitney stated in a complaint filed in the New York Federal court,

“Her fame is so extensive that she is instantly recognized by her first name Oprah alone.”

The statement adds that Oprahdemics is misleading to listeners and could lead them to believe that Oprah Winfrey signed off on this

Harpo Inc. isn’t looking for monetary compensation from the podcasters but instead wants the court to stop them from “capitalizing on the goodwill of the OPRAH and O family of trademarks.”

“Harpo does not seek monetary damages or profits available under applicable law from Defendants’ wrongful acts of building a media and entertainment brand by capitalizing on the goodwill of the OPRAH and O family of trademarks. Nor does Harpo seek to prohibit Defendants from airing a podcast series on their chosen topic,”

The statement continues,

 “However, Harpo submits that the Court should enjoin Defendants from wrongfully creating a new brand incorporating Harpo’s trademarks and making trademark use which is dilutive of and constitutes misuse of Harpo’s OPRAH and O family of trademarks and explicitly misleads consumers as to the source and/or sponsorship of Defendants’ branded offerings.”


Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur touch on everyday topics from diets to Tyler Perry during their podcast, which recently wrapped up season one with 15 episodes. They seem to mean no harm and are genuinely just fans of the icon, Oprah Winfrey, and are surprised by this suit. Jody Avirgan of Roulette Productions released a statement on Wednesday (Aug 10), and said,

Oprahdemics is a journalistic exploration by history professors and sincere, longtime fans of Oprah Winfrey. As independent producers, we feel it’s important to have fun, approachable, and educational conversations about the cultural impact of Ms. Winfrey. This comes from a place of both deep admiration and critical thinking. Kellie and Leah are remarkable hosts. Roulette Productions produces Oprahdemics and has been engaged with the team at Harpo for some time–while genuinely surprised by this, we hope to resolve it.”

According to reports, the suit for trademark infringement, dilution, unfair competition, and cybersquatting includes a history of her brand, beginning with the premiere of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986. It also provides a list of nearly two dozen registered trademarks, two of which are just the letter “O” in a specific font.

Do you think Oprah should just drop the suit and let the podcasters use the name? Let us know in the comments.

Authored by: Afrkah Shantae