Chambers Lunch with Oprah
It’s not every day one gets to have lunch with one of the most influential people in the media business and the richest Black woman in the world, but for a handful of journalists, including Dr. Eric J. Chambers, that’s just what happened. The Oprah Winfrey Network, aka OWN, invited a select few LA area journalists to have lunch at her studios in Los Angeles to promote the network’s newest show, Tyler Perry’s “For Better Or Worse.” The sitcom stars Tasha Smith and Michael Jai White along with a cast of newcomers. As an added surprise, Winfrey made a surprise appearance and greeted the crowd, thanking everyone for coming out and telling them how excited she is about the new show.
Next, OWN held a press conference, introducing most of the cast from the sitcom which initially aired for two season on cable giant TBS. After dining on two kinds of chicken, string beans, macaroni and cheese, and other side dishes, the questions began. Dr. Chambers, founder of The CUT, (The Chambers Urban TV Network in Hollywood), was the first journalist to ask a question. “What was it like meeting Oprah for the first time?” Aside from Smith and White who had previously met her, the other four cast members met her for the first time at this event. The actor’s faces lit up when discussing their first encounter with the billionaire media maven.
“I almost peed on myself!” joked Cocoa Brown, a comedienne who plays “Jennifer” on the sitcom. “It was like seeing a unicorn for the first time! She was so nice!” And actress Kiki Haynes who plays “Keisha,” overcome with excitement said, “When she came in the room we were in, and said my name, I was like, ‘She knows my name! She knows my name!’ Every since I was a little girl I wanted to meet her and today the dream came true.” It also came true for the 25 or so journalists present for the press event.
Earlier this year Dr. Chambers saw Winfrey at an event in Beverly Hills where she was honored by Essence Magazine, but to sit on the front row as she spoke was quite an honor. “I was hoping that she’d surprise us with an appearance and she did. This was a big deal for us as journalists as well because we rarely have this kind of up-close access to Oprah,” he said. “I have had an incredible one-month run! In August I was bestowed an honorary doctorate degree from Next Dimension University, and now, here I am at OWN with Oprah and her crew. And the blessings roll on.”
After posting pictures from the OWN experience on his Facebook, many of his friends created a frenzy. Some inquired about how he received the invite. “I have developed a nice rapport with the publicist who invited me. Itʼs about relationship,” he said from his home in Southern California. “This is called Godʼs favor. You see, favor will get you into places money canʼt. There were no ticket-takers at the door,but they had a guest list with my name on it. Now, thatʼs favor.”
Dr. Chambers, a 4-time Emmy Award winner has been persistently on the media grind, having worked for KGTV in San Diego, CBS in Hollywood, NBC in Burbank, DirecTV, The NFL Network, and hosting his own national TV show for nine years on The Word Network. This is an example that if you stay the course, all things are possible, including the possibility of having lunch with a legend like Oprah.
“For Better Or Worse” airs Wednesdays at 9PMET/PT on OWN. Check your local listings from channel lineup. Meanwhile, to learn more about Dr. Chambers, visit DrEricJ.com.