African-American Journalist Rips Image Awards PR Firm

In the wake of the NAACP’s 42nd annual Image Awards on March 4th, disgruntled LA journalist Eric Chambers (pictured) has shared a long, scathing March 11th open letter sent to organization chair Roslyn Brock and CEO-president Benjamin Todd Jealous.

Chambers, producer-host of Saturday program The Jazzspel on The Word Network, bemoans the lack of proper promotion by Fox for this year’s awards show. But his real beef is with the official accreditation publicist for the event, powerful LA PR entity the Lippin Group. Writes Chambers:

The Lippin Group is NNF: not Negro-friendly and in my estimation need some serious diversity training. How does the NAACP hold the biggest black Hollywood event of the year, and the black press not be credentialed? Or just a select few. I’ve spoken to several press members whom were denied and are as hot as fish grease over this!…

I didn’t even apply for a press pass because I knew what the outcome would be with the Lippin Group. In 15 years of trying, I have NEVER been granted a credential from them – to nothing. Not even a cat fight! I felt I had a better chance of succeeding Barack Obama as president.

The New Orleans native is steamed that mainstream media, which give the program only token attention, get all the awards show access. While watching this year’s edition with his eight-year-old daughter, he says she was amazed to learn about his one-time friendship with Rosa Parks. Chambers thinks civil rights leaders “must be turning flips in their graves” over the Image Awards, a show he describes as “for us, by us, but controlled by them.”

Update – 03/17/11: Mediabistro sister blog PR Newser picked up on this item and contacted both the Lippin Group and the NAACP. To read the NAACP’s response to Chambers’ complaints, click here.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.