Credit: Twitter

Oprah has always been a hustler and this past fall she was on the road again, promoting her “Live the Life You Want Weekend” tour. The production made it rounds across America and featured an impressive array of speakers and motivators.

There was also supposed to be interludes of entertainment provided by hoopers who were being asked to perform standard routines. One of the chosen few who goes by the name of Revolva, decided to use her blog to vent about how Oprah conveniently decided not to pay the hoopers for their expected services.

Revolva who is based in the Bay Area, was approached by a producer for Harpo Studios, and asked if she wouldn’t mind performing at the event in San Jose.

She was immediately interested – especially when she found out that Oprah was involved. But things quickly turned sour when the producer made it clear that she would not be compensated for her work. A fact that left the hula hoop performer baffled when you consider that the arena where the event was being held seats approximately 18,000 and the ticket prices ranged from $99 to $999. How can it be that the once Queen of Daytime TV can’t manage to pay commissioned performers when the event itself isn’t free?

Revolva decided not to accept the gig – opting instead to pen an open letter to Oprah detailing the call she had with the producer and challenging her to switch gears by using her powerful and influential status to uplift struggling artists instead of stifling them by forcing them to work for payment in the form of “exposure”.

So far, her blog post has gotten quite a bit of attention so much so that she has had to upgrade her site twice to keep up with all the traffic.

Just another reason why celebrities need to be on their best behavior! No word yet from Oprah’s camp regarding the matter but we are sure a statement will be handed out soon enough.

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  • Mikela123

    This reminds of the scene from the Wayans’ movie White GIrls where the girl was SOOO offended she was going to write a letter.

    I’m an Oprah fan but in this case her company is wrong. This woman and all other acts should be compensated for their time and service. She not only has to perform, she has to rehearse and rearrange her schedule. And there is no guarantee that she will receive any business from performing here.

    This is a terrible corporate practice we should be fighting. It’s similar to corporations offering unpaid internships, claiming that putting their company name on one’s resume is enough compensation. We have folks walking around with 3 or 4 unpaid internships and not much closer to getting a full time paid job. And in the meantime the company got away with free labor.

    This practice is exacerbating the growing inequality in our country. Getting away with free labor one of the way the .01% is getting richer, while the rest of us are hanging on. It’s unethical and unfair, and should be illegal.

    • ALM247

      A group of unpaid interns successfully sued Charlie Rose earlier this year. Wendy Williams has also been sued by former interns. I agree that unpaid internships are out of control. The thing is, the U.S. is a capitalist society. Instead of these lawsuits creating more paid internships, most likely companies will end all access to internship opportunities. Good students will be denied the opportunity to “get their foot in the door” as interns because these companies only care about their bottom lines.

    • Mikela123

      Most of these unpaid internships should be entry-level jobs that pays at least minimum wage. We need to push back and stop listening to corporate threats. Unfortunately it will have to start with Congress fixing our labor laws, which won’t happen anytime soon. But we can at least be vocal.