I was invited to Chicago to participate, as a member of the audience, in a taping of an Oprah Winfrey show that will discuss male victims of sexual abuse. I had spoken to a producer about 2 weeks ago as they were prepping the episode that will be taped on October 20th.
I am not sure what the actual size of the studio audience is in the HARPO studio. I will guess it will be approximately 300 or so. For this event, the show will be filling the audience with survivors. The sad thing is, they will be turning away hundreds because the venue is not large enough to accommodate the number of people who responded to their search for survivors.
I was offered airfare, hotel, and meal vouchers for my participation. Unfortunately, I am going to be on a training mission related to my job so I will be in New England working during the week when the show will be taped.
I do not know when they will air the episode. I will keep my eye on the station here in southeastern Virginia that carries the show to figure out when I need to set my DVR to record this event. As this is Oprah’s final season before she moves on to other projects, her staff is busy working on programs that have particular significance to her and this topic made the cut.
My hat is off to Oprah for tackling this very difficult subject. I wish I were available to go and see where the conversation went firsthand. I am just happy the conversation will happen and that Oprah will use her considerable clout and bully pulpit to bring this problem into sharp focus.
Check your local listings for time and channel. Tune in!