Oprah Makes Nice With Ex-Pals— but Why?
Allison Samuels examines the talk-show queen's buried hatchets
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2011 5:53 PM CDT
Oprah Winfrey presents the award for best documentary feature during the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(Newser) – One of Oprah's new favorite things seems to be burying the hatchet, writes Allison Samuels for Time. The talk-show queen had Iyanla Vanzant—an author whose friendship with Oprah fell apart more than a decade ago after Vanzant accepted an offer from Barbara Walters to host her own show—on her show last month, in a two-part segment that was "intimate and raw," and "painful to watch at times." And Vanzant isn't the only one Winfrey is making peace with—on Oprah's stage, of course. That list also includes Whoopi Goldberg, Roseanne Barr, and Rosie O’Donnell.

"You can’t help wondering why Oprah is even bothering to air her dirty laundry," writes Samuels. Is it for the ratings? To get these former friends on OWN? "Or is Winfrey really hoping to teach her audience a lesson about friendship?" One sociology professor explains, "We can’t forget Oprah remains, in many ways, America’s chief therapist. In her last season, Oprah wants to model for her audience the art of coming to grips with the uneasy business of repairing torn relations." But Samuels can't help but wonder if the healed wounds will stay shut. What does Vanzant think? "I’ve spoken to her once since the show. She’s a busy lady, so I may not hear from her again, and that’s OK. We worked out some important issues, and now if we never speak again, hopefully we both have peace with it."