Did Oprah Winfrey steal the idea for her OWN show “Iyanla: Fix My Life”? That’s the contention of Otisa C. Strickland in papers filed Tuesday in a Mississippi federal court.
“Both shows involve a counselor that travels all over the United States to people homes [sic] to counsel them about their problems,” Strickland said.
Strickland’s show, called “The Agency,” was copyrighted in 2008, the suit says.
“Iyanla” premiered in 2012, and returned in September for its sixth season, The Wrap noted, drawing 670,000 total viewers according to Nielsen, “slipping 7 percent compared to the Season 5 premiere.”
Strickland, who lives in Laurel, Mississippi, is acting as her own attorney in the case — Case No. 2:16cv164-KS-MTP — and seeks a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.
Court records show no response yet from Winfrey, but Michael T. Parker, a judge in the Eastern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, has recused himself from being involved.
Parker cites a federal law that allows a judge to be disqualified for hearing a case for any number of reasons.
Parker didn’s give which reason in Wednesday’s “Order of Recusal.”
A spokesperson for OWN did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said The Wrap, which first reported the suit.