Oprah Winfrey Praised Over Her Relaxed Interview With Michael Jackson's Kids

November 10, 2010 07:46:53 GMT

The way Oprah handled a candid sit down interview with Michael Jackson's children in her TV show is praised by child psychologist.

Oprah Winfrey
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Photo credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN

One of America's leading child psychologists has applauded Oprah Winfrey for the way she handled a candid sit down interview with Michael Jackson's children. Dr. Fran Walfish, the author of upcoming book The Self-Aware Parent, watched the Oprah special, which aired in America on Monday, November 8, and was impressed with what she saw.

Winfrey taped the show with Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, their nieces and nephews and grandparents, Joe and Katherine Jackson, in the garden of the family's Encino, California home. Walfish tells WENN, "Oprah gets kudos for her choice to interview the children as a sibling group with the support of their grandparents present in their own backyard, versus individually and in front of a studio audience."

"These children suffered the traumatic sudden death of their primary beloved parent - their father. They are now a team who can support each other because they endured something terrible together as a unit. Oprah's relaxed style, gentle humor, and approachability helped the kids feel comfortable, or as comfortable as these children could feel given the awkward circumstances. Oprah's questions were appropriate."

But the doctor did spot one thing that concerned her about the chat - Jackson's daughter is growing up too fast. The talkative 12 year old did the bulk of the chatting while her brothers seemed shy and reluctant to be a part of the interview, and Walfish says, "Paris appears to be a smart young, sincere, articulate, and mature girl. In psychological terms, Paris seems to be pseudo-mature - that's fancy talk for grown-up too young."

"She may have assumed the role of mum to her younger brothers. But she needs to be a kid and enjoy freedom from worry and caregiving while she is still a child." And Walfish fears Jackson's kids got little positive out of their meeting with Winfrey, adding, "The question must be asked, why did the paternal grandparents decide to go against Michael's wishes and air the children on national TV? There is nothing positive the children could have gotten out of the public airing of this piece."

"They likely would have benefited more from this warm, wonderful exchange with Oprah had it not been viewed by millions of people around the world."


Post Your Comments

posted by Lika on Nov 15, 2010
This the problem with America. Every so called "psicologist" can talk about other without having met them or talk to them.And she calling her self a professional?Give me a break. It seems that that was Michael life story. People who had never met him could talk about him.
posted by Queene on Nov 14, 2010
Looking at this interview from Katherine's perspective, I have to believe she wanted the world to know these children are doing well and that they are supported by their family. There is no other possible reason she or the children would have agreed to this. The good news is they (kids) obviously where not fans of Oprah! Now that makes four of us!
posted by Kim on Nov 14, 2010
If Michael's kids were continues to be sheltered from the world people would say that is wrong and now that they are out in the spotlight at times people say that's wrong WTF you can't please anyone when it comes to Michael and his kids they just want to hate
posted by MJFanForever on Nov 14, 2010
What planet is this Dr. on. It was very clear that the children disliked O and the reason Paris was so talkitive was she was trying to get her point across that he dad was a human being. The way O interviewed Kathrine was very disrespectful. If I was Kathrine I would of kicked her out of my house. The answers she asked were unprofessional, the way she kept badgering Joe was uncalled for. He answered her question but yet she kept on about the same subject. And how about the way she kept picking on Jermagisty about his name. That was very disrespectful and on national television. The way the children came out in a pact. Was very clear to me that they were there to protect their cousin's. Didn't the arm crossing of Paris and Prince give her that first clue that they couldn't stand the woman. I loved it when Blanket wiped his nose with his hand before he shook O's hand. So really what channel was the Dr. watching when she praised this unprofessional. I have no respect for O and I am glad that she is leaving ABC. The only reason she is using Michael Jackson's name every week is for ratings. She is losing viewers. So she has to get her ratings some how. She really should slow herself down tho. She is running out of Jackson's.
posted by cawobeth on Nov 13, 2010
This child "expert" doesn't seem to have a clue. These children are loyal & close to their grandmother. Period. Not to mention that she dares praise the queen of MJ hypocrites. Notice that complimentary articles are shown about Ms.O. Don't forget she IS media. Note that for weeks prior to her "tribute" to MJ was advertised. Were there reviews ? No. Guess why ? It was highly unfavorable. Now Ms.O wouldn't want anyone else to know that now would she. It is obvious from the comments here that other journalists would also not agree with this one, that is if they are ethical like people here. Do journalists dare not speak up to the "great" Ms.O or are they hushed by contracts ? Ms.O is simply an example of how money can do the talkin'. I respect Mrs.J for doing what she felt was right & proud (if I may say so) of Prince, Paris, Blanket & Mr.J for standing by her.
posted by su237 on Nov 13, 2010
The looks she got from Michael's kids is the only thing that made me feel happy about that interview. If looks could kill lol!...God bless Michael and his kids, and may He protect them from all the leeches and harm. LOL Oprah sucking up to the Jackson's now is a huge joke, where was she all these years? Why the change of heart? Or is something going on behind the scenes?
posted by klaba on Nov 13, 2010
I agree with the psychologist. Oprah did a fantastic job, not just with the kids, but also with Joe & Katherine. As for Oprah child molestation show, that aired the Friday before the MJ show, the same day Tyler Perry's movie came out which stars Janet Jackson so it's no surprise she aired the Tyler Perry show close to the Jackson show, especially since both were landmark shows to be aired in the middle of November sweeps.
posted by Judson on Nov 12, 2010
Yet again, Oprah gets what she wants. Note that the Jackson interview was scheduled the Monday following her epic program featuring 200 men who had been molested. Note that THE Lisa Marie Presley interview (about Michael Jackson) was scheduled during a series of programs about child molestation. During Michael Jackson's trial deliberations, Oprah scheduled a program about (guess what) -- child molestation. Coincidence? NO. Oprah accomplished by scheduling what she strongly believes but could not say outright -- "When you think Michael Jackson, think child molestation." This is very low class.
posted by kiama on Nov 12, 2010
I understand the comments. However the childrend had to know that the interview was going to take place. If the children didn't want to do the interview, they are old enough to tell the adults that they were not comfortable doing this. You cannot shelter the children forever. They need to mingle with people to know how to handle society. If you think Oprah was bad, think of how the rest of t he world is going to be. They are people just like everyone else. Life is not easy for anyone. They have to enter into the adult life soon.
posted by annyksa on Nov 11, 2010
& another thing-if oprah or anyone else wants to interview the Jacksons, it'd be refreshing if they didn;t talk about his drug addiction, plastic surgery,etc. how bout if they ask different questions about i.e. his charity work, hobbies, how he felt being a father, etc.
posted by annyksa on Nov 11, 2010
I just watched the interview via youtube & I felt the kids seemed very uncomfortable with oprah. Also,why did oprah have to make Katherine relive her son; death?how many times has it been asked-"where were u when u heard the news?how did u feel?" those poor jacksons have answered that too many times.
posted by Elaine on Nov 10, 2010
Paris was passionate about her dad - left the word "dad" out - God forbid anyone woud think I was referring to Oprah
posted by elaine on Nov 10, 2010
It didnt seem too "warm or wonderful" to me. Prince seemed suspicious of her (and with good reason)while Blanket couldnt seem to care less. Paris was poised and polished and clearly passionate about her. Among the things I found most distasteful was oprah's apparent mockery of Jermajesty's name. You may not think much of the name but don't ridicule the child on public TV. It was in poor taste and perhaps the parents should sue for emotional distress on the child.
posted by Jordan on Nov 10, 2010
Another psycho babbler opining from her arm chair about people she has never met and whose situation she couldn't possibly know much about. Calls herself a psychologist? That's fancy-talk for opportunistic meddling presumptuous hack of a mental health "professional."
posted by Come again... on Nov 10, 2010
... give praise where it's due. A woman in her 80s has managed despite her still intense grief, to deal with three grieving kids and get them to a place where they can laugh, talk about their feelings and come across as beautiful children. It's not Oprah this idiot should be praising, suprisingly it's, the Jacksons -- who knew?
posted by Come again... on Nov 10, 2010
Perhaps if the media didn't insist in telling us the children were 'in danger' in an out-of-control household every five minutes, or make constant insinuations about Jackson as a father and as a human being -- Katherine wouldn't feel like she had to show people they are none of those things. They have issues like any other family, but they lived it under a microscope. No paedophile can bring up children who talk about their father that way, so guess what? Jackson, one of the greatest creative talents and a genuinely decent human being was hounded to death - for what; for some lying opportunists, an ambitious DA and the media's hunger for a takedown. And lest we forget: The Big O 'asked' Katherine to do the interview. This is no Aunt Jemima expressing concern here, this is a media mogul on the sniff for an exclusive. And she got it. So lets get real here. And lets
posted by Steve on Nov 10, 2010
I had a completely different feeling about the whole interview with the children. I felt Oprah appeared uncomfortable and Prince certainly did not seem eager to participate nor did his younger brother. Oprah laughed when Prince told her what he wanted to do when he grew up. She also insulted one of their cousins about his name. Paris stands ready to defend her father. I'm sure the children knew of Oprah's checkered history concerning their father's portrayal. I think you should take a careful look again at the footage and study body language also. Those children had no business being interviewed by Oprah or anyone else. Mr. Jackson protected them from the media for very good reasons and even the children understand those reasons. Oprah's interview was not about being sensitive, it was about scoring ratings. The whole interview was sad and shameful and should never have taken place.
posted by LibelFreeZone on Nov 10, 2010
"...warm and wonderful exchange..." my ass. Okra was overbearing (what's with the criticism of Jermajesty's name, OPRAH?) and it was clear that the children were not impressed with Okra at all. The Okra Winfrey Show--Slimy, Just Like the Vegetable.

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