WNYC Studios’ 2 Dope Queens Releases Final Podcast Episode, An Interview with Former First Lady Michelle Obama
PRESS RELEASE — November 15, 2018
New York NY, USA—2 Dope Queens, WNYC Studios’ critically-acclaimed comedy and storytelling podcast hosted by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, today released its final episode: an extended interview with former first lady Michelle Obama.
The 2 Dope Queens’ farewell statement to podcast fans is available here.
The far-ranging interview covers everything from mentorship, leadership, and motherhood, to Mrs. Obama’s new memoir Becoming, to quintessential 2 Dope Queens conversational topics: hair, politics, and Bono.
Mrs. Obama also recalls a push-up contest with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, retraces a family trip to Hogwarts, and navigates a classic 2 Dope Queens conundrum: Would you rather go to a Beyoncé concert or have brunch with Oprah?
“This inspiring conversation with Michelle Obama ties together so much of what Phoebe and Jessica have brought to listeners since we first launched the 2 Dope Queens podcast out of a bar in Brooklyn more than two years ago,” said Paula Szuchman, Vice President, On-Demand Content at WNYC Studios. “The Queens’ honest and intimate comedy, their FOMO-inducing friendship, and the diverse voices they invited into the spotlight has made the show more than a podcast. It is truly a phenomenon. We are proud to have been a part of it, and the Queens will always have a home at WNYC Studios. We can’t wait to see -- and hear -- what they do next!”
Full audio of the interview is available here; a full transcript is also available here. Photos are available upon request.
Select excerpts are below:
ON HAIR AND POLITICS:
“… The first thing you’ve gotta worry about is how to keep [your hair] healthy… which people don’t understand… you’ve got to think about how do you do that… What are you doing? And are you swimming? Are you working out? But this wasn’t just a first lady journey. This is a black professional women’s journey…”
ON SUCCESS AND FAILURE FOR WOMEN:
“… The difference between success and failure when you’re a woman, when you’re a minority, is really slim. And, if you get the wrong message it sits with you the wrong way, if you don’t have an advocate, if you don’t have opportunity… you’re sunk, you know? I know that pain… Imagine that part of you that never got educated. How you would feel…There are millions of girls around [the] world that are in that position, because talent and potential knows no country. It knows no race. It knows no gender…”
ON WOMEN AND ANGER:
“[I]f you’re a woman and you’re too angry, people stop hearing the point. They don’t hear you. And I’d love to be able to get in [and] change that… but the truth is, is that people will hear things differently from me. I will do one thing and somebody else will do the exact same thing and it will be interpreted completely differently…”
ON HER FAMOUS QUOTE “WHEN THEY GO LOW, WE GO HIGH”:
“I’m not gonna pretend like I’m not angry. But if I’m trying to move an issue, if my anger doesn’t work to move the issue, then it’s not helpful… And that’s what going high means. Going high means you don’t ignore it. Going high doesn’t mean you don’t acknowledge the fear… Usually your goal isn’t to just be angry…
Barack has been good at that… you know, brother can’t get too angry if he wants to move things forward. He doesn’t have the leeway to solve problems with anger… And that’s remains true for women and minorities… I don’t get the benefit of the doubt… Every word I uttered on the campaign trail was picked apart and it was analyzed and oftentimes incorrectly… I had to control my voice so that it wouldn’t be misinterpreted. And I still do…”
ON RAISING DAUGHTERS TO USE THEIR VOICE:
“I don’t want at this young age to stifle them… What my parents did was that they saw that flame in me, and they kept it lit… I think I want to fan their flames… I want to get them used to maybe overstepping a little bit cause sometimes with women you don’t step up enough. You don’t use your voice enough because you’re told that you’re mouthy or you’re bossy or be quiet… I want to practice boldness…”
ON BEING OPEN ABOUT STRUGGLES:
“We’re all struggling and stumbling and trying… So I try to free young people up to know don’t be afraid of stuff going wrong. That’s all life is, is a bunch of stuff going wrong… And miscarriages and challenges with pregnancy… the biological clock is real…. And no one told me that… So I just don’t want some young person struggling with stuff that happens to everybody, and going through that loneliness and that pain and that feeling of failure when this is how our bodies work…
I told [my girls] this when they were younger: Do not get your information from another 12 year old, all of you are stupid. Love you, love your friends, but when you’re 12 you don’t know anything…”
IN RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION: WOULD YOU GO TO A BEYONCE CONCERT OR HAVE BRUNCH WITH OPRAH?:
“I pick the brunch, not because I don’t love Beyoncé concerts. As you know, I go to all of them, and I love watching my girl perform, but I choose a conversation… you can’t do that at a concert…”
IN RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION: U2 OR BILLY JOEL?:
“Oh, U2… Bono is my boy. Bono is sweet, he’s funny. I love him. He’s hilarious. So yeah, that’s an easy one.”
ABOUT WNYC STUDIOS
WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio, home to some of the most critically acclaimed and popular podcasts of the last decade, including Radiolab, On The Media, Nancy, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Death, Sex & Money, Snap Judgment, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, and 2 Dope Queens. WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with podcasts and national radio programs that inform, inspire, and delight millions of intellectually curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms. Their programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, interviews that reveal, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself. For more information, visit wnycstudios.org.
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