Oprah Winfrey has removed gospel singer BeBe Winans from her show’s “karaoke challenge” until charges against him for allegedly pushing his ex-wife to the ground are resolved, reports the Associated Press.
Winans appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” last week to discuss the selection of contestants for the season-long challenge. He was also seen surprising some of the finalists with news they had made the cut.
Winfrey spokesman Don Halcombe said Thursday that Winans will be cut out of the karaoke segments entirely.
Winans was charged with misdemeanor domestic assault in a Feb. 13 incident, where Winans and his ex-wife Debra were allegedly arguing about their children. Winans has a court date set for Jan. 20.
As previously reported, Winfrey was criticized this week for including Winans after she had taken a strong stand against domestic violence earlier this year. She did a show on the topic when singer Chris Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Winfrey said at the time: “Domestic violence is something that I wouldn’t tolerate. Period.”
Halcombe would only say that the decision to eliminate Winans was made this week, reports the AP.
In other Oprah news, blogger Nikke Finke is reporting that Discovery Communications chief David Zaslav has demanded that she move her talk show to her forthcoming Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), or risk losing it altogether.
OWN, a joint venture between Winfrey and Discovery Communications, is scheduled to take over the old Discovery Health Channel and launch in 70 million homes sometime next year.
Finke says that Winfrey and Discovery will soon “issue a press release announcing OWN’s on-air launch for the start of 2011. And, in several weeks, Oprah will tell the public that she’s ending her syndicated Chicago-based daytime talk show when her current deal runs out and moving it to OWN headquarters in Los Angeles probably as soon as mid-2011.”