"There's No 'I' in Oprah" (Originally Published, 10.25.06)
***INTERNAL MEMO//NOT FOR RELEASE***
From the Law Offices of Jeremy, Jameson, North and Hartley
Beverly Hills, California
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006
RE: Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Inc. Copyright and Trademark Rulings
We are pleased to report that as of 9:00am PDT this morning, the proposed copyright and trademark implementation initiated on behalf of our client has been ruled official and legally binding (O. Winfrey Petition, Case #0598672, CA Superior Court/Part 53). As discussed, being that a favorable designation from the client (or authorized association with the client) carries with it certain benefits -- both social and financial -- and said designation lends the recipient an unparalleled level of legitimacy with a vast market which would otherwise be untapped by the recipient, from this point forward the following is true: said recipients of this "hallowed blessing" (the official term to be used forthwith) will be considered the intellectual and industrial property of the client and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harpo Inc.
The current breakdown -- which can and will be adjusted for time, favored status and general rises to and falls from grace -- is as follows:
Oprah's Friend Gayle(c)(tm) // Gayle King, who for some time has been familiar to the general public strictly by the designation "Oprah's Friend Gayle" will now be known by that name and only that name, both professionally and personally. This will replace any previous moniker which may have been applied to her -- including but not limited to: "Oprah's Girlfriend Gayle," "Oprah's Lesbian Lover Gayle," "That Bitch Who Looks Like Whitney Houston Fresh Out of Rehab," "The Sycophant," and "Who?"
Note: if at any time the client chooses to admit the truth about her sexuality, Oprah's Friend Gayle's(c)(tm) name will immediately and legally become "Gayle, the Woman Who Makes it Okay for You to Admit that You're a Lesbian and Leave Behind Your Family and Constricting Life in Suburbia, Girlfriend(c)(tm)."
Oprah's Favorite Chef(c)(tm) // Henceforth, this copyrighted and trademarked label will be applied to the woman formerly known as Rachael Ray and will be exclusively used by her in all professional and personal interactions. It has been brought to this firm and its client's attention that the beneficiary of this hallowed blessing recently began taping a talk show which bears her erstwhile moniker. As a concession, the client will allow the name of the show to be changed to "The Rachael Ray Show, Which Owes its Entire Existence to the Good Nature of Oprah and the Fact that Miss Ray is, in Fact, Oprah's Favorite Chef." It is also the client's wish that Oprah's Favorite Chef(c)(tm) be reminded by this firm that her contract remains legally binding and that the client is under no obligation to return her soul.
Oprah's Designer(c)(tm) // From this point forward -- as a matter of simplification -- the designer who most recently has been known to the general public as "Nate Berkus, Oprah's Designer" will relinquish the proper-name portion of that title, as it barely matters anyway. Oprah's Designer(c)(tm) will also agree to be addressed simply as "Girlfriend" by the client for the remainder of his existence or until the client tires of his bold use of Feng Shui, whichever comes first.
Barack Obama, Oprah's Candidate(c)(tm) // The client acknowledges the unfortunate necessity for the future presidential contender currently known as Barack Obama, the Junior Senator from Illinois, to retain his proper name. However, the client wishes for this firm to remind the Senator -- upon his inevitable election -- to whom he owes his political fortunes. The client expects an appointment to a cabinet post in the Obama administration befitting her role in his incredible appeal to middle-class soccer moms across the country; it is her wish that she be granted the post of Secretary of State or higher, as this rise to power will be necessary to facilitate the coming of the Christ-Child and the client's eventual war with the Nazarene.
He Who Has No Name // Henceforth, the author and blasphemer formerly known as James Frey shall cease to exist in a figurative sense and shall be banished from public consciousness.
Tom Cruise // It is the client's prudent decision that her name in no way be associated with Tom Cruise. This decision is legal and binding.
Dr. Phil, the Ingrate(c)(tm) // The client acknowledges a lapse in oversight which has allowed the one-time recipient of the hallowed blessing to succeed despite having no continued attachment to her. She will not make the same mistake again, and wishes for the firm to take measures to ensure that Dr. Phil, the Ingrate(c)(tm), his wife and son are all "dealt with" at the firm's earliest convenience.
Caveats and Codicils
The client officially lays copyrighted and trademarked legal claim to the following:
* The term "Girlfriend," and all sassy uses of it.
* Weight-loss of any kind.
* The entire depth of human experience, as the client insists that she is not only understanding of any and all interpersonal situations, but is in fact the progenitor of said situations and can provide unequaled validation to those who experience them subsequently.
Any unauthorized use or application of the preceding will result in immediate legal action, which this firm is empowered to take on behalf of the client. Punishment will be swift and without mercy.