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SLisa Ling

Do you personally see demons? Uh huh, a lot of times, on people, I will see a crow on their left shoulders.

The kinds of stories that we do are unique in that people are sharing with us things that they might not be sharing with their own family members or friends. Deeply personal things.

He told me to go into a room and two men came in and raped me.

I think the reason why so many people have trusted us to do so is because they have seen over the course of the past few seasons that we will not exploit them, we will not sensationalize their stories.

So they ‘ve trusted us enough to just open themselves up to us. You are very emotionally invested; it seems, in the topics. Tell me sort of how you think about that as a sort of formulation of the show?

I never go into the shows thinking I am going to become emotional. I mean, I happen to be a fairly emotional person. But…

What was the moment that really struck you? I met a 17-year-old girl named Ashley who was trafficked, sexually trafficked as an 11, 12-year-old child.

I can’t just not talk. I can’t just let it go.

And this horrific story that this girl was telling me that happened when she was a child was so traumatizing that I lost it completely. I, Like, it wasn’t just tears running down my eyes it was this full emotional cry.

And what was interesting about that experience is I made all the male members of my team sit outside, with the exception of our DP, and as little Ashley is telling the story I hear from outside the room all the men going (sniff sniff). And then we all just lost it because the courage that it took for this girl to talk about what happened to her was so profound.

On the other hand, you have the shows that are lighter.

I am still young enough to have sex, so I want that. It has to be one of the things that I have to have.

Every day of the week? Every day of the week!

We don’t always want to tell stories that are so hard hitting and so challenging. Our show about seniors, the secret lives of seniors, there are some seniors who are living life to the fullest and others who, as a result of a stroke, have become completely disabled. Right.

Come on daddy, let’s do your pills right now ok?

Did you dad participate willingly? Easily? My dad was actually pretty cool about it. He has two journalist daughters so…

Yeah, he was very low key and very cool and he was actually very pleased with the way the show turned out. You mentioned creative control, you know, OWN—it’s a new network

Sure, it’s evolving. How do you think about that or is there pressure, if any, to get attention getting topics?

OWN is a pretty new network, and I think it’s just really starting to find its voice and its audience and it’s definitely been an interesting experience, starting a show on a brand new network. But it’s been so supportive and I really truly believe that I wouldn’t be able to do this show on any other network.

Source: nytimes.com

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