I was reading an article today about new shows coming onto the airwaves this fall and the shows that are returning. It said that returning shows will doing something “big” in order to reattract viewers. One of the biggest examples of this was when Oprah gave everyone in her audience a new car. It wasn’t just a big moment for TV, but it was also a philanthropic move on Oprah’s part because her producers sought out people who really needed a car to fill their audience with. The person who wrote the article said that this was the single greatest moment in Oprah show history. I disagree.
There have been a lot of moments during an Oprah show where I have been reduced to tears. There has only been one where I had to pause my Media Center and lay my head down on my desk and just weep. It was about two girls who are Rwandan and survived the genocide of the Tutsis’. One night a group of Hutu soldiers invaded their village and their hut. These two girls escaped out of the back and climbed into the trees for safety. They stayed there all night and listened to the sounds of their family and friends being slaughtered.
After the violence was over, these girls walked several days until they found a refugee camp. They slept during the day and walked all night as to not be found. If they were found they surely would have been brutally gang-raped and then slaughtered. They stayed in the refugee camp and then came to America where they were adopted by a loving family. Here they received an education and found peace at last.
They were on the Oprah show discussing their story a couple of years back. After they told their story on a show about the Rwandan genocide, Oprah told them that their parents had not been killed, they were still alive and the producers of her show and found them and brought them to America. They also had had more children since the genocide. Watching these two girls run into the arms of their parents they presumed dead for over a decade was the single greatest moment in Oprah show history. Just remembering it now brings tears to my eyes.
I think all the people who were lucky enough to get a car that day can agree, that even though they so desperately needed these cars, those two girls reuniting with their parents they were convinced were dead and meeting their brothers and sisters for the first time, far outweighs someone else purchasing you some much needed transportation.