Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guest Post: Calling Bullsh** on BET

Today’s Guest Blogger is an accomplished Author and Journalist. She is also a fellow Johnson C. Smith University Alumnus. Without Further Ado……….Cheris F. Hodges.

Long ago, I gave up on BET and this was before Nelly's credit card swipe.

I had such hate for this network that as a teenager I watched everyday, that when Bob Johnson bought the Charlotte Bobcats, I was so disappointed. And I live in Charlotte and enjoyed the Hornets.As I grew up, I saw that BET was not for me. Black women on this network were portrayed as objects. Big booty girls, breasts and thighs.

I was more than that. My friends were more than that. And I had a young niece that needed to grow up knowing she was more than that. So, I said f**k BET. That's not my black. That's not entertaining either. Teen Summit had disappeared, BET News was gone and then they fired Tavis Smiley.

Bob Johnson sold BET for $3 billion and Viacom didn't come in and overhaul things. The network simply got worse. Even with a woman at the top. Deborah Lee didn't do anything to change BET. Now she's hosting black women leadership talks? Bullshit.

The network has long come under fire for its music videos that critics say perpetuate racial stereotypes of African Americans and demean women. In 2008, a group called "Enough Is Enough" protested outside of Lee's home for more than five months.

"I just still feel like, as much as we've tried, it's still a heavily male dominated music genre," Lee said, describing her feeling after the 2009 awards show.

She said her thoughts turned from the show to the scene in Washington, where Lee has mingled with first lady Michelle Obama, presidential senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, domestic policy chief Melody Barnes and other African American women at the center of power. Then, Lee said, she took out her Rolodex of successful black women and phoned Essence's Beauty and Cover Director Mikki Taylor, political commentator Donna Brazile, journalist and author Gwen Ifill, actresses Tatyana Ali and Tasha Smith, and others.

This is like the Klu Klux Klan hosting a forum on race relations. For damned near 20 years, BET has fed society the worse images of black women. Now, you want to talk about what's wrong? Too little, too late.

The network's most vociferous detractors, such as lawyer and blogger Gina McCauley, found the entire thing ironic, and called it a PR stunt. "What are they leading? Black girls to a life of objectification?" asked McCauley, who was not at the event.

Nothing more needs to be said. BET, give it up. No one is falling for this. Obviously, your ad revenue is the only thing that's falling.


Redbonegirl97 said...

I agree. BET is such a huge disappointemnt for the black community.


Citizen Ojo said...

Redbonegirl97 - The sad part is that it didn't use to be that way..

Val said...

Black Exploitation Television is the network White college kids watch when they are trying to get ideas for their next "ghetto party".

And Debra Lee needs a visit from the Drop Squad.

msladydeborah said...

It is unfortunate that there is no other network to counter BET.

Citizen Ojo said...

Val - The Drop Squad has alot of people that they need to pick up...ha ha ha. That list is long and wide.

msladydeborah - TVOne is suppose to be the counter to it and they do have some good shows but I think they lack someone with experience to run a network. They don't seize on opportunities that build a growing viewership base.