Is there drama off the screen for OWN’s new TV show? Oprah Winfrey recently defended her upcoming new series Greenleaf, The Wrap reports.
The family drama stars Merle Dandridge as Grace Greenleaf, the estranged daughter of a megachurch bishop (Keith David) who returns home after her sister dies under mysterious circumstances. Lynn Whitfield and Winfrey also star.
During a recent advance screening of Greenleaf, Winfrey said she hopes the series helps people see and examine themselves:
All my life I have been trying to use ‘the word,’ and words, as a way of saying to the audience … whatever the audience was, the [“O”] magazine, or “The Oprah Show,” and now OWN, to say: ‘Here is a way to look at yourself, and can you see you in this picture? Here is a way out, here is a way up, here is a way through. This is just another platform [TV drama] to able to do that, in a really collaborative way.”
According to The Wrap, the first episode of the drama highlights modern problems with the church, like “alleged sexual abuse, questionable preferential tax status for wealthy corporate churches, personal enrichment of religious personalities, and the hypocrisy of bible beaters’ infidelity.”
Winfrey also mentioned that the show’s lead patriarch, Bishop James Greenleaf (David), is not based on real-life megachurch bishop T.D. Jakes.
The only resemblance is that our main character is named ‘Bishop’ and your name is ‘Bishop.’ From my lips to your ears, ‘I, Oprah Winfrey, am not going to do anything that disrespects the church. I am sitting where I am today because of the black church.”
Greenleaf premieres on June 21st at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
What do you think? Are you a fan of Oprah? Will you watch Greenleaf?