*Oprah Winfrey’s production company has reportedly asked a Melbourne shop to remove golliwog “washerwoman” dolls from display so that they would not offend the talk show host and her guests.
The Dafel Dolls and Bears shop in Block Arcade, where 110 of Winfrey’s guests will attend a cocktail party, removed the “Mamee” washerwoman dolls after a visit by Harpo Productions, but the store said it will continue to display other golliwogs.
Examples are pictured below…
The storeowner declined to comment because she had signed a confidentiality agreement with Harpo productions, but confirmed a meeting had taken place.
“Oprah’s people came … and yes it was discussed,” the Daily Telegraph quoted a source familiar with the agreement as saying. “As a result, they won’t have that particular doll on display. But there will be plenty of other gollies when they come through.”
A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Ultimate Adventure declined to comment, but Tourism Victoria claims neither it, nor Harpo Productions, had told the shop owner to remove the doll.
The incident follows a Jackson Five skit on an Australian television variety show last October featuring performers in black face-paint which incensed US celebrity guest Harry Connick Jr.
Oprah is in Australia for an eight-day filming tour of her hit talk-show — the first outside North America and a blockbuster end to its 25th and final season — touching down on the Great Barrier Reef Tuesday.
She is due to visit the giant red Outback monolith, Uluru — also known as Ayres Rock — in Australia’s vast desert center, Thursday, while her 302 North American audience members have been scattered across the country for experiences including surfing and winetasting.
They will reunite in Sydney this weekend before recording two episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Dec. 14 in the harbor front forecourt of the Sydney Opera House.