BET Responds To Complaints About Lack Of Credentials For Black Media At 2014 Awards Show

July 15, 2014  |  

Kerry Washington at the BET Awards. Source: WENN

An executive from BET says that denying credentials for famed black photographer Bill Jones to cover the 2014 BET Awards was “an oversight on [their] part.” The network, MadameNoire was told, did all it could to give access to the many members of the media who tried to cover a crowded red carpet at this year’s event.

In an exclusive story published on The Huffington Post, Tanya Young Williams says “[i]t was terribly disappointing to learn that BET snubbed one of the most respected photographers in the business, and quite possibly the oldest Black photographer still working Hollywood’s red carpets.” Jones has photographed Muhammad Ali, Bill Cosby, Whitney Houston and countless others. His work has appeared in Ebony and Jet among many notable media outlets.

But he and a number of other outlets were denied credentials to cover this year’s BET Awards red carpet, which took place on June 29. And there are some who think that black media outlets were disproportionately excluded. (MadameNoire’s fellow website Hip Hop Wired was denied coverage.) Speaking with Williams for a separate media outlet, Jones said, “I think there’s a problem when one of the largest networks, catering to African Americans, doesn’t show Black press the respect and dignity it deserves in doing its job effectively.”

Tracy McGraw, senior VP of communications at BET Networks, said that this year, there were fewer than 220 people (not outlets, but individuals) that could be accommodated on the red carpet, half the number from previous years. McGraw offered us a snapshot of the outlets that were credentialed, which included everything from Rolling Out to Vogue UK to AOL Black Voices to UPSCALE and Reuters. McGraw called the media list “perfectly balanced.”

“There were over 1,000 people that applied for credentials. There is an entire process,” said McGraw.

This year, the BET Awards were bigger than ever with 7.9 million viewers tuning in and 11 million tweets.

The network, according to McGraw, tries to make arrangements for those who don’t make it on to the red carpet to cover The BET Experience or some other aspect of the awards presentation.

“It’s a matter of spacing,” McGraw continued. “We try to accommodate everyone, to be frank.”

McGraw provided us with the instructions for applying for credentials, which states in part:

We receive such a high-volume of coverage requests and cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate everyone. We encourage you to submit appropriate materials supporting your outlet including your unique page views, target audience, and previous coverage of BET events. Once your application is submitted, you may be asked to provide additional or clarifying information.

McGraw says she’s spoken with a number of outlets that were upset about the credentials they did or did not receive, and told us that she has since spoken with Jones — “He’s always welcome on our carpets,” she said — and Williams.

“I’m open to conversation,” said McGraw.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Pingback: Dissed By BET: Black Press Still Gets The Snub | Black Business Now | – BLACK BUSINESS NOW()

  • T. T.

    This is one of the reasons why we as a people are slow to prosper. We can have the the same credentials, be just as beautiful and or talented but will be overlooked because a white person will be doing the same.

    This very same argument was addressed in the civil rights movement. Black owned business suffered because we were now patronizing white businesses more, and not because of quality only because now they could. Let’s get it together folks before it’s too late and time is definitely running out.

  • Trisha_B

    It’s about money. Who can bring them the most viewers. It’s business.

    • hells yea & you can also see that when you go to The Source & The Urban Daily & XXL & other so-called Black websites and see the same sites on they recommendation lists every year

    • yvonnerchandler

      Peyton . true that Jessica `s blurb is shocking, last
      monday I got a gorgeous Peugeot 205 GTi after having earned $6860 this past 4
      weeks an would you believe ten-k this past-month . with-out a doubt this is the
      easiest-job I’ve ever had . I actually started six months/ago and pretty much
      immediately started to bring in minimum $84… p/h . Read More Here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • CarolynJSmith

    Google is paying 80$ per >>CLICK NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP

  • rachelefawcett

    my classmate’s aunt makes $68 every hour on the
    computer . She has been fired for 7 months but last month her paycheck was
    $15495 just working on the computer for a few hours. visit the site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • It’s BET I wouldn’t expect anything less from them. Although the world black is in the name they have zero respect for the culture.

    • deborahgwatts

      just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
      didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
      there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
      about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
      bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • Chaz

      Its still not BLACK owned. So the puppets only do what they are allowed to do.

      • Oh I know, BET hasn’t been the same since they sold their souls to Viacom. BET used to have positive programs such as Teen Summit.

  • Pingback: BET Responds To Complaints About Lack Of Credentials For Black Media At 2014 Awards Show - Beauty Tips Around The World | Beauty Tips Around The World()