By Dennis Maurice Dumpson
It's so ironic that I just did a blog about how Roland Martin could learn a thing or two from Wendy Williams and today Wendy goes right ahead and proved my point on topic of Whitney Houston. I said in my blog, if you remember, that we do NOT have to comment on every single topic and provocative moment in history and time. I also wrote in that same blog that Wendy follows a format and doesn't detour from that too much. Today she showed us that she can say it as she means it, but also has a level of integrity in her profession. I'll explain. More below. Note: I recently got back into blogging again, I promise this isn't a Wendy Williams tribute blog, just a coincidence that she is in two blogs in a row!
_Integrity...How Many Of Us Have It?
Today, Wendy showed why integrity is so very important. On her syndicated talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, she covered what she knew of Whitney Houston's death and then said she would not cover Whitney's death any further after today's show. She also said, if you want to hear something about her death go to The View or Entertainment Tonight, because she's out (as it pertains to Whitney's death and the details still uncovered). Wendy knows her issues with drugs and has always been upfront about them and in the end that's why so many love her. I really respect Wendy's position on this topic. Granted Wendy has "Said It Like She Means It..." in reference to Whitney's struggles with substance abuse, etc. However, if you look below she's approached it from a sisterly perspective -- having been a former substance abuser herself. See a previous conversation Wendy had about Whitney and her hopes for her sobriety (in a way that only Wendy could pull off).
Now some would say, "Wendy hasn't done anything but talk about her issues and joke about it." I don't see it that way. I think Wendy tried to keep it light, because that's the sensibility of her show, but I see her plea to Whitney. Which made her feelings and sentiment in the video below that much more honest and heartfelt -- which is Wendy's brand of Authenticity and "Say It Like You Mean It."
_I cried after seeing this, because Whitney was so iconic and I love her and I am sad that she passed so suddenly and in a very tragic way, but also because Wendy's transparency was so beautiful. Whether Whitney succumbed to drugs or this was all an accident, does it really matter? She is a woman...a woman whose songs have been part of the soundtrack of our lives. Greatest Love All: My cousin and I singing I believe the children are the future at church. I wanna Dance with somebody: My family reunion back in the day. Shoop Shoop Shoop: Seeing Waiting to Exhale on bootleg with my mom and her girlfriends and listen to their conversations about life and relationships. Whitney gave to the world and that's what we are here for. I think Wendy had a breakthrough on camera about her own journey and it was just beautiful to watch and no other journalist will take this stance...TRUST ME!
My Little Marketing Insight... I can't help it!
From a marketing perspective (I can't help it!) She set herself apart from others that will dive in on this story and I realize it's because it's personal for her, she let people into something a little deeper. Wendy is unassuming and she's calculated, but not calculated in a bad way, but she's done the math before hand. She knows that as long as she is herself and she sees herself in all she does that it will always ADD UP in her favor and I like people (especially folks of color) who know the power of being clear on who you are and where you stand in this world and in any industry.
Remembering the Legacy: It was Worth the Toll.
What are your words worth? We all have an opinion...I enjoy opinions and perspectives, but after all of those words what do you have left...nothing if you weren't clear on what you were saying. Whitney always had a clear message...try your best to love yourself. Listen to the music, the theme is consistent. Many people think I always refer to branding because I am a marketer, but that's not it. When I see people who are consistent in their messaging I appreciate it. Doesn't mean you can't fall, make mistakes, or missteps, it just means on everything you shared you were HONEST in what you believed. Want to know when someone is spitting bull? Listen to them talk for an hour...if they sound like four different people...don't trust it! Whitney always sounded the same to me and words were consistent and that is WORTH it's weight in Solid Gold or Platinum (music pun!). After all is said and done, Whitney, I hope the journey was worth the toll. I feel that it is -- I have been touched. Sad that I see how deeply in your death. However, see someone who knew her well talk about her faith and her resilience. This will gives fans and friends clarity that Whitney is in a great place with the Lord. This I am sure...no I didn't know her, but I feel that and I believe what I feel.
_Miss and Love you, Whitney! R.I.P. Here's Whitney singing about what I feel she always sang about...LOVE!
About the Author
Dennis Maurice is an author, publicist, fundraiser, marketer, and culture enthusiast in Philadelphia, Pa. Learn more at: http://www.dennismaurice.com