NEW YORK — Oprah Winfrey is removing 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.
Winans appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last week and was seen in promos for future appearances. Now he'll be cut out of the segment, said Winfrey spokesman Don Halcombe on Thursday.
Winfrey was criticized by some bloggers 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.
The daytime TV leader 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. It was not clear if Winfrey had been aware that Winans was charged with misdemeanor domestic assault in the 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.
Winans' manager did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.
"Let's just not have a double standard on domestic violence or even accusations of domestic violence," said Joni Reynolds, a woman from the Baltimore area and author of a blog called Ebony Mom Politics.
She had called attention to Winans' participation and wondered if Winfrey had overlooked the charges because the Winans were friends or because there were no photos that had become public as in Rihanna's case.
Reynolds commended Winfrey for deciding to take Winans off the show.