Oprah, Why’d ya’ do it?

Post Insert JacquieJacquie speaks up ~ Mackenzie Phillips was on Oprah last week ‘opening up’ about her 10 year incestuous relationship with her father John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.   I didn’t watch but I picked up the gist of it on Internet sites and so-called news programs that ran sound bites for days afterwards.

I’m a huge Oprah fan but I chose not to watch because I had seen an episode with Mackenzie years ago where she spilled about her drug addiction and sexcapades with people like Mick Jagger, and frankly I was a bit disgusted that Oprah would give this girl another hour of good air space.   Incest is definitely an Oprah worthy topic but I think she could have found more believable guests to share their story.  Mackenzie was a minor celebrity once and I feel she’s using the media to stay in the spotlight and has very little interest in helping others with her story, as she claims.

Michelle Phillips, Mac’s step mom, finds the timing particularly interesting as the allegations came out just a week before Mackenzie’s step sister, Chynna Phillips, was set to release a new album.  Oprah’s good, Mac, but you need a professional couch to sit on for some real therapy.

I hope Oprah will concentrate on what she does so well;  introducing us to inspiring stories of courage, love, talent, forgiveness, hope and  personal growth ~  and leave the tabloid garbage to the bottom feeders.

TracyTracy googles ‘Mackenzie Phillips’ and then has this to say ~

I did have to google ‘Mackenzie Phillips’ to find out some of the details and although the topic of incest bothers me terribly and I find these allegations to be of a very serious nature, the only two people who know the truth are Mackenzie Phillips and her father John Phillips.  Unless someone actually walked in on them doing what is claimed it’s all hearsay.  I don’t believe everything I hear as I wrote about in a post  What Can We Believe Anymore .  If I had tuned in to the show I would have tuned right back out as soon as I saw the guest and nature of the show.  It screams Jerry Springer to me.  I am not a big fan of shows that thrive on conflict and drama.

The Mamas and Papas incest case shows that it’s time to stop celebrating the Sixties, says Gill Hornby.”  Well that sucks cause I was just hoping to start celebrating the 60’s just this year as I said in my bio Tracy quote:  I am driven by passion and romance and if were given the chance would go back to the age of innocence when courting and ballroom dancing existed. (I’m rethinking that at the moment)  The 60’s are starting to look better to me now for some reason.” I might leave that alone for awhile until the dust settles.  I love the Mamas and the Papas music though, it sounds so innocent so perhaps we could all use a musical interlude right now…Peace

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie reluctantly gives this her attention~

Hmm.  I’m struggling with how to approach this.  I have recently learned that if something doesn’t make me feel good then I don’t give it my attention.  Incest and speaking about it makes most people uncomfortable and I’m no exception.  I knew the program on Oprah would not make me feel good.  However I grew up watching “One Day at a Time” and because of that I decided to watch Oprah featuring Mackenzie Phillips.

My Tara partners did not watch the show or, I suspect, the follow-up show on Friday either.  I understand why they both chose not to view the show, I almost didn’t myself.  If they had seen both shows they would probably have had a softer opinion towards Mackenzie.  They would have learned that there were many others who were aware of the consensual incest that went on for 10 years.  They would have learned that Mackenzie’s sister, Chynna Phillips (Michelle Phillips daughter) knew about the incest and fully supports her sister now and feels her mother is simply in denial which is a normal reaction in this situation.  They would have seen the pain on Mackenzie’s face as she spoke about these things and I’m sure would have felt some sympathy for a fellow human being that had lived through some of the horrors that Mackenzie did.  I’m also sure that they would agree that Mackenzie is already making a difference to many who have gone through the same or similar trauma in their life and have contacted her to speak about it.  This story is about love, forgiveness, hope and personal growth.

When all you hear is the rhetoric around a story and not see or hear the story first hand I think it is truly best to refrain from making any judgments regarding it.  We are always touting that we are not judgmental  here at Tara Cronica after all.


21 thoughts on “Oprah, Why’d ya’ do it?

  1. Hey Bonnie, I can’t think of a softer view than “not believing everything I hear” I didn’t cast judgment because I didn’t see the show, and because I simply wasn’t there. Completely nonjudgmental. It doesn’t mean I don’t have compassion for someone who has suffered incest or hardship with drugs. I understand that “someone” was wronged here but would you bet your life on it that it WAS Mackenzie? I doubt it. I get that she is helping others with coming out with this and if that helps others GREAT but at what expense if it’s untrue? I am not saying it is untrue, I don’t know, I wasn’t there. Did I cast judgement ? I think Oprah is a wonderful medium for everyone who can relate to a ‘topic’ but if you can’t then I suggest you don’t tune in for the reasons you stated at the beginning of your opinion ” I have recently learned that if something does’t make me feel good then I don’t give it my attention.” otherwise we would all be sitting at home depressed about every horrible thing that IS happening in this world instead of being out in it trying to improve it ourselves as best we can ! I think help is out there for anyone who is having trouble in their lives I think that we don’t necessarily need to be on Oprah to get the help we need. Svaha! T xo

  2. Tracy, you are not sure whether Mackenzie is telling the truth. I get that and I know you are not alone. And I know you well enough to know that you don’t normally cast judgments on others especially when you don’t have all the facts. The problem I have with this post is how a strong opinion is given about a show that was not even seen.
    The point about not giving your attention to things that don’t feel good does not mean that you sit at home depressed about what is happening in the world but rather you put your attention towards the positive changes that are being made. A great example of that is “Peace One Day”. He chose to focus on Peace and spreading the idea of Peace…not the fighting.
    I still feel that we should not be offering an opinion here on Tara Cronica on something that we didn’t even see. It’s all too “TMZ” like for my taste.
    Svaha to you as well my friend. xo

  3. When people expose themselves in a public forum, myself included, then they have to be able to accept criticism from all sides.

    I think sometimes the word judgmental is used too often when one merely has a opinion on a subject. My opinion wasn’t based on watching this show but on seeing the same person on previous shows exposing other bits of salacious information. At that time it was to resurrect an acting career. Actually, I am inclined to believe her story of some kind of incest to be true, but what I doubt are her motives for coming out now. When there is a book to sell many celebrities start to reveal THE most personal information imaginable. I question the motives, that’s all.
    I’ll allow that my original take was rather harshly worded. I had other reasons for being in a dark mood that day, but my opinion still stands; I’m tired of hearing about celebrities going on Oprah to dish the dirt about their families while hawking a book. I watch Oprah regularly and if the subject had been incest without the celebrity connection I would have tuned in. If anything, the promos for that Oprah show are what turned me off as being very TMZ. She may have had a great interview but she used tabloid marketing to promo the show. Just my humble opinion ~ but I appreciate yours, too, Bon.

  4. Thank you for that comment Jacquie. I understand your point of view and Tracy’s much better after having this conversation. That’s why the back and forth in the comment section is so important some times.
    I love a healthy debate especially between people I respect and admire. 🙂

  5. I have been reading your blog for awhile now.
    I think all you women (girls) all live with rose color glasses on most of the time. The real world is out there, go do some volunteer work at a women’ s shelter and see through their eyes what they deal with on a daily basis. So put yourself out there and help the women who have been sexual abused, whether it’s by a father, husband. It is something to be discussed openly and Oprah does this because it gets her ratings. And Mac is an actress! Some of your writing’s are good, but talking about poaching men, try eggs instead. Inspiring stories of courage, love, talent, forgiveness, hope and personal growth is what you three should be striving towards. To me Oprah just likes money anyway she can make it she will. Take the hour a day to do something positive instead of watching her. JMO

    • Hi Beth,
      Your input is appreciated very much. The vary core of our blog is about personal growth and inspiring stories, I think. But we are human, too, and sometimes we/I can say things that seem trite or self-absorbed. That’s the beauty of a blog; it’s real-time emotions and personality. We all like to concentrate on uplifting topics but I believe we also have a pretty good understanding of the real world. That’s why we actively support organizations like Kiva, Stephen Lewis foundation and Ishtar Transition House (check out our ‘Tithing’ section above) We all do our bit to volunteer but sometimes if you talk too much about what you’re doing it begins to sound self-serving, so we prefer to just put out ideas and let everyone else decide how they can best fit helping the community into their lives. For some it’s with financial donations and for others it’s by donating time.
      I think I can speak for Bonnie and Tracy when I say I believe we spend considerably more than an hour each day trying to make a difference. The fact that you were inspired to write in and share your message is proof of that! I have volunteered at a shelter but maybe I should do it again soon.
      Svaha, Beth! (May a Blessing Rest On You)

    • Well thanks Beth for your comment and following our blog. We have in fact had stories about many of the topics you mentioned, courage, love, talent, hope and personal growth. They’re all under the left side bar if you have the time to browse the archives. Poaching men was actually a comment left by a reader on my post about “Are We Getting Enough” fulfillment out of life. But glad to see the comments are being read as well, makes it worth while taking the time to leave one ! I hate poached eggs by the way. And I do agree everyone should volunteer their time helping others. I support the Ishtar Transition House Society which is for abused women and men here in my community and donated regularly. Last year we gave all of both my kids bedroom furniture to a woman who was a mother of 4 starting over just before Christmas. It was something I wanted my kids to be involved in so they were there when we dropped all the furniture and bedding off. My daughter made a special package for the little girl who was a couple years younger than her so it was more personal. We do this regularly. We could have a garage sale but I would rather someone who really needs it get it and my kids learn at an early age that it is always good to give back. We created this site to inspire and use our voices to give hope and encouragement. Having said that, we are also human and sometimes we just want to talk Twaddle ! Thanks again Beth for taking the time out of your day to be here with us!! Your voice will always be heard here loud and clear girlfriend ! T

    • It’s unfortunate that you have read this blog before, and find that these women are lacking in helping others. The first and only time I met Tracy, she and Jacquie arranged to have an auction, with all items donated, and all proceeds going to a local charity to help…Abused Women and their Kids. I and my family then donated many, many, many more items to this organization for abused women.
      I believe that it’s healthy to be honest and express our feelings, and beliefs. I hear what you’re saying about Oprah, but to bring these sorts of topics to the public, for us to take what we see, and decide whether it’s true or not true. The fact is, incest happens, some may think this is normal…and now they don’t. Isn’t that part of the point of her show? More volunteers would be great I’m sure. Awareness needs to be made though. Will you talk to your friends and spread the word? I sure hope so, because I will.

  6. I didn’t CAST any judgment that WAS my opinion “you know me well enough to know I don’t ‘normally’ cast judgement” I don’t get where I’ve cast this judgment? I don’t believe any of it because I WASN’T there! I had no opinion on it but because it is a ‘Topic” Jake chose I am obligated to write my something which I felt was right down the middle, I still like the Mamas and the Papas and I wish Mackenzie Phillips well. I wonder is Mackenzie Phillips part of any incest survivor group where you go and help others with no monetary award for being there ? I agree with Jake if it had been a unknown person and not promoting a book this conversation wouldn’t be happening. And to make it completely clear I don’t care if Mackenzie is telling the truth, she is the only one who will have to judge her own behavior as John Phillips will also have to judge his. I don’t judge either of them.

  7. I agree with you Bonnie! If you didn’t see the whole show, how can you really know the gist of it? Snippets are not enough. Mackenzie says other people (including the other male in the Mamas and Papas-can’t think of his name) knew so I think her story can be corroborated.

  8. I’d also like to add that Oprah’s staff always investigates and only once has aired a subject that proved untrue that we’ve heard. She did specifically say that her staff talked to some members of Macs family, and they did not deny it.

    • I saw that show with James Frey ” A Million Little Pieces.” Oprah was out to kill after that show she was soooo embarrassed !! She learned a valuable lesson.
      It’s just an opinion Ladies, lets remember that, I still don’t believe OJ Simpson did it! stir stir stirrrrr….
      Maybe now would be a good time to ask our readers to submit ‘topics’ that perhaps we can talk about to make it more interesting, you could write in your idea with your opinion and we will add to it ??? Any brave enough takers ?

  9. Watched the first 40 mins of the first one, then was too upset to finish. This is my opinion: I believe her, but she appears to be so broken, that she completely misses the point about how horrible her childhood really was. We caught her entertaining herself with “fond” memories of rolling joints for her dad at 10, and being seduced by Jagger at 18. Even though she knew these were not appropriate experiences for a child, a little twinkle escaped in spite of herself once in a while. It was a rare glimpse into the life and mind of a serial addict, and suddenly all the relapses made sense to me. She’s a girl who never grew up – and her story serves as a marvelous cautionary tale. Oprah was having NONE of the little side trips and giggles down Mac’s memory lane. Her reaction was to stay on topic and redirect Mackenzie, and a few times she looks disgusted and sorry for her for just not getting it. It was such a rare way to see Oprah behave. (I watched an episode last year – I THINK it was Oprah, but not sure – anyway, there are a whole group of people leading consensual incestuous relationships, and a lot of them began with rape, and wind up committing suicide and it’s really gross and sad and scary…very interesting topic for those who have the stomach for it.) Anyway, Philips needs a paycheck just like the rest of us, so if she’s going the secret spilling route – she’s earning every penny as far as I’m concerned. No one is going to lie about agreeing to a sexual relationship with ones own father. She knows this is social suicide. I think Oprah did a remarkable job of handling her “sensational” guest, and that my adorable sister needs an Oprah fan spank for second guessing her TV idol. Keep the Faith Jake – your Oprah’s still kickin’ butt and takin’ names.

  10. Phew! The way you described Phillip’s attitude is EXACTLY how I remember seeing her on the show years ago ~ almost proud of her behavior. It’s interesting to hear your interpretation of the interview and how Oprah handled it. I won’t say I’m owed a ‘fan spank’ though, because it’s just all about keepin’ it real. I question everyone’s motives, even my own sometimes ( I did use the keywords ‘incest’ and ‘sex’ in the post, you know) but I only bring up topics that really get me worked up. That’s why I didn’t talk about Kanye West last week.
    I do wish Mackenzie hadn’t experienced all she did growing up. It is tragic, really, and I wish she had been around people who would have helped her then, instead of just willing to corroborate her story now.

    • Awareness for those who don’t know better. Get the word out. It’s not okay, nor will it ever be, drunk, stoned, addicted or not. Disgusting how people can prey on other people.

  11. Thanks for your much appreciated opinion and insight Anne I always look forward to your comments. Every time I see your name I can’t wait to read what you have to say !!!!! T

  12. I am so glad to hear all the comments on this subject. All had good points of view . I am very close to this subject and have had to deal with incest from the age of eleven. I like to hear that you ladies are supporting abused women or women who are raising children on their own. It is a very hard road to travel without a support system. I hope Mac does get help as she certainly is a lost soul.

    • Thank you Beth for your honesty and willingness to put yourself out there, your not alone we are all standing right next to you doing what girlfriends do best, supporting one another unconditionally ! Thank you for sharing something that must have been very difficult. I admire your honesty. I get tears in my eyes at the thought of the woman having enough courage to leave an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with only the cloths on their back, holding tightly their children’s hands in hopes of a better life !! Courage is hard!! T xo

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