1668157443 0x0

The impact of Oprah’s documentary on racial health disparity

Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions partnered with The Smithsonian Channel on a documentary called The Color Of Care, which looks at the racial disparity in the United States health care system. The documentary exposed several inconsistencies highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The piece works to ultimately be seen as a call to action, urging the positive revolution of the health care systems to serve all races throughout the US. The document includes numerous first-hand accounts of people who have also lost friends and family to COVID as frontline medical workers along with expert interviews and large swathes of statistical data presented to further prove the issues present.

During the film’s release period, Oprah said, “At the height of the pandemic, I read something that stopped me in my tracks.”

“I read a story about Gary Fowler, a black man who died in his home because no hospital would treat him despite his Covid-19 symptoms. As we continue to hear how the racial disparities in our country have been exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic, I felt that something had to be done. This film is my way of doing something, with the intention that the stories we share serve as a warning and promote a deeper understanding of what changes need to happen to better serve us all.”

Along with the programming, the project also launched a far-reaching campaign to initiate core conversations, with actionable conclusions, with policy makers, medical and nursing schools, and health care workers to identify the issue as a true national crisis in urgent need of solutions.

“People of color have long endured the fatal consequences of racial health disparities, and the Covid-19 pandemic has made these disparities plain for all to see,” said James Blue, head of Smithsonian Channel and SVP of MTV Docs. “I hope our documentary event, The Color of Care, will be a catalyst for action.”

Dr William Soliman, the founder and CEO of the Accreditation Council of Medical Affairs (ACMA) said:

“My parents immigrated from Egypt to this country with the dream of finding a better life for their children. Knowing that my parents came from nothing and worked their way up has helped me give back to the community and guides my work ethic.”

Dr. Soliman is uniquely placed to have been invited by and spoken to by the US Congress Health Subcommittee and the United States Attorney General’s Alliance on the ACMA and the importance of certification standards for medical affairs and medical science liaison personnel in the pharmaceutical industry.

“It is important that we raise the bar in our healthcare ecosystem. We need to address the needs of everyone and we need to stop putting price tags on people’s lives based on some monetary and optical sense of value. We can do better. I’m glad the documentary highlights that.”

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Yance Ford, the piece follows numerous harrowing stories of individuals trying to access life-saving healthcare before they die.

Oprah was asked by the Los Angeles Times about her biggest misconception of racial health disparities in the health care field before working on the film and she said, “I think my biggest misconception was that it was about health insurance, that it was about to have access to. financially, and if you didn’t have the money, then you couldn’t get the care you needed. What COVID has exposed is that inequalities in so many other areas of your life also contribute to the huge inequality in health care.”

She later continued: ‘This is more than just one film, this is a moment to ignite an important cultural conversation around this public health crisis. So it’s not just about the film. To me, this is the Color of Care Impact Campaign, this is a way to move this conversation forward, and actually champion some changes to hopefully eliminate racial disparities in the delivery of American health care.”

Related Posts