Oprah Winfrey never approached Doug and Rob Ford about a show - Macleans.ca

Oprah Winfrey never approached Doug and Rob Ford about a show

Doug Ford said Oprah pitched a reality show to the brothers. Winfrey’s people say this isn’t true.

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Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford, brother of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

In news that will likely shock no one, the Ford brothers have been caught up in another one of their infamous battles with the truth. In November, Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford said that representatives from television production companies had inundated both his and Mayor Rob Ford’s offices, with “everyone from Oprah to Dr. Phil” pitching reality TV shows for the brothers.

“You name the person, we got calls from them,” Doug said. “There’s a massive market in the U.S.”

On Tuesday, a representative from OWN TV, Oprah Winfrey’s television network, denied that any such talks took place. “There have not been any discussions,” said Chelsea Hettrick, director of communications for OWN. The multi-platform media company is a joint venture between Discovery Communications and Harpo, Inc., which also produces the Dr. Phil show, starring psychologist Phil McGraw.

In November, Doug said he passed on Winfrey’s apparently non-existent offer, and instead announced he and his brother Rob would produce their own YouTube show, Ford Nation. The announcement came a day after Sun News cancelled the pair’s television show, and two weeks after the brothers lost their radio show on Newstalk 1010.

Spokespeople from the offices of both Doug Ford and Rob Ford have yet to respond to numerous requests from Maclean’s for comment regarding OWN’s statement.

The denial from Winfrey’s organization shouldn’t surprise those familiar with the Ford brothers. The pair have a long and complicated history with the facts, whether it’s regarding run-ins with the law, job performance, city finances or even insinuating that a member of the press is a pedophile.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s mayor does have one legitimate media gig—as a weekly football commentator on The Sports Junkies, a morning radio show airing on Washington’s WJFK-FM. During his first appearance on the show last Thursday, Rob Ford suggested that women play office football pools by picking “the cutest guy,” and “Obamacare is “going to cost [America] a fortune.”

Winfrey is surely kicking herself.