FILE PHOTO: Oprah Winfrey speaks during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey is returning to her talk show format with a new series on Apple TV+, whose first episodes will focus on racism in the United States, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Winfrey announced on Monday.
“The Oprah Conversation” will debut July 30. It will feature Winfrey and Ibram X. Kendi, author of the best-selling book “How To Be an Antiracist,” speaking with white people about racism, Apple and Winfrey said in a statement.
“It’s time to bring humanity back to the conversation,” Winfrey, one of the most influential women in the United States, said on Twitter. Winfrey said she hoped to have “conversations that unite us - not divide us.”
The first episode will be free to stream on Apple TV+ and joins two other Apple ventures by Winfrey - “Oprah Talks COVID-19” and “Oprah’s Book Club.”
The new series, which does not have a fixed timetable, will “explore impactful and relevant topics with fascinating thought leaders from all over the world,” the statement said.
It comes during a national reckoning about systemic racism in the United States that has led to nationwide protests for more than two months.
Winfrey in 2011 ended her top-rated daily television talk show, in which she broke new ground, discussing topics ranging from incest to sexual abuse as well as interviewing presidents and celebrities.
The second episode of “The Oprah Conversation” will be streamed on Aug. 7 and will feature a two-part interview with former football player Emmanuel Acho, the host of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.” The episode will include questions from white and Latino guests.
The episodes will be filmed remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, but will include audience engagement.
Other guests will include Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative nonprofit, whose story inspired the 2019 film “Just Mercy.”