All Articles Tagged "BET"
Yesterday we shared with you the leaked BET memos regarding their alleged discrimination against transgender media personality B. Scott. B filed a lawsuit against BET and Viacom on the basis of gender identity discrimination after they made him change his attire for a hosting appearance during the 2013 BET Awards. BET tried to say their decision to have B. Scott tone down his look was nothing more than a “series of unfortunate miscommunications,” but those leaked emails suggested otherwise; hence the response B. Scott wrote on his website:
The leaked email exchange between BET/Viacom personnel is both shocking, and hurtful. While I’m disheartened by the blatant and intentional attempt to stifle my gender identity/expression way before the day of the event, I’m also thankful that the truth is starting to surface.
This email exchange not only corroborates everything I said to be true, but it shows that BET/Viacom tried to cover-up and spin that truth with lies.
The BET Awards 106th and Park Pre-Show was recorded in front of a live audience, media personnel, etc. — many of whom can attest to my prompt arrival and utmost professionalism.
It’s a shame that a company such as BET/Viacom would rather focus energy towards slandering my reputation in an attempt to further humiliate me instead of learning from their mistakes. The time & energy spent creating a ‘spin’ could have more effectively been used to help create a more welcoming environment for LGBTQ employees.
Clearly these emails will do the BET defense no favors in this case, but it also appears B. Scott is attempting to ride this drama out until the sun comes up. What do you think about his response?
‘I Can Speak To Him About Looking Less Womanly:’ 2013 BET Awards Memos Regarding B. Scott Incident Leaked
Over the summer media personality B. Scott had a very ugly falling out with BET and Viacom after a discrepancy over his red carpet attire at the 2013 BET Awards. As previously reported, B alleges that after being hired by the network to host a red carpet pre-show, he was forced to changed out of his pre approved red carpet look, which included women’s heels, into a more “masculine-looking” outfit. Even after he changed into the new outfit, he was pulled out of the pre-show and replaced by actress Adrienne Bailon. After sharing his story and rejecting the network’s public apology, B decided to sue BET and Viacom for gender identity discrimination.
The entire situation looked pretty bad, but as the plot thickens, things appear to be going from bad to worse. TMZ recently acquired internal texts and e-mails that are alleged to have been sent between BET executives and in the e-mails, they pretty much admit to ordering B to change his clothes so that he would look more like a man.
“I don’t want ‘looking like a woman B Scott,’” BET Programming President Stephen Hill allegedly wrote. “I want tempered B Scott.”
“I can speak to him about being less ‘womanly,’” Network Vice President Rhonda Cowan reportedly replied.
The executives went on to say that B lost his cool when they asked him to change clothes and began making threats against the network.
“He got upset and said he was going to blow this s**t up and call GLAAD,” BET produer Stephanie Hodges reportedly wrote.
In another message, which appears to be the execs co-conspiring an explanation for why B was pulled off of the air, BET’s Monique Ware reportedly wrote:
“The spin should be he was late for a live show and subsequently replaced and it would have been awkward in a live show to have the person assuming his role removed and him inserted.”
“Unless we can make public the reason we didn’t want him dressed the way he normally does, I would stay away from suits, suit selections, etc.,” the message continued.
It was also said that B had been drinking on the night of the event, showed up late wearing outfits that were not pre approved and was somewhat unruly. BET has yet to comment on the leaked e-mails.
What are you thinking about this situation?
It took me months to watch the movie premiere of Being Mary Jane late last year — not because I didn’t want to see it but because I missed the first showing and BET punished all us latecomers by making us wait several months later until the next TV airing. Nevertheless, when I finally had the occasion to watch the precursor to the series which debuted this past Tuesday, I ate it all up.
Though on first observation of Mary Jane (played by Gabrielle Union) I got the feeling she was a character I’d seen before — something of a mix of her role as Julia in Daddy’s Little Girls and every other type-cast part she’s ever played – there was a vulnerability about Mary Jane that I felt Gabrielle had never truly showcased in prior roles (perhaps I was reading into things given her personal life) and I most certainly had never seen Omari Hardwick in that way (thank you Mara Brock Akil and BET).
I was granted the opportunity to watch the series opener at the end of November and as soon as I walked out of the screening I knew I’d found something to do with my Tuesday nights. I felt every single up and down Mary Jane did, as “Never Answer” kissed her neck, invited her to attend a concert with him, and then made plans with another woman he would surely sleep with when MJ was busy, and I only hoped one day I would be so blessed to feel a man of Andre’s (Omari) physical excellence ravish me the way he did Mary Jane at the gym — minus the wife and kids. That’s why when the screening was over, I was so deflated when my coworkers’ main takeaway from the season premiere was that they wished Mary Jane hadn’t slept with Andre because her decision to do so makes it seem like sleeping with married men is something all black women do.
I was met with similar sentiments at the office yesterday when everyone else had the chance to catch the episode, and many comments on Twitter and Facebook echoed the same disgust. The Olivia Pope comparisons rolled off people’s tongues and keyboards without hesitation as everyone labeled Mary Jane a “ho,” said she was “nothing but a mistress,” and worst of all a “poor representation of black women.” Oh word? Y’all really gone act like you’ve never been messy?
Every time I hear an accusation to that affect I fight the urge to request the accuser provide a handwritten expose of their past romantic trysts and ask them whether they would categorize their mistakes as “ho-like behavior” or representative of an upright black woman. I can almost guarantee the response will be, “I’m not all black women.” At which point I’d offer this newsflash: Neither is Mary Jane.
Black female audiences have got to get past the idea that they are ever going to turn on the television and see a character that totally and completely represents them — not because no one cares enough to try, because it’s simply not possible. And you know why it’s not possible? one, we’re all different (duh) and two, every time someone tries to think outside the box with a black female character backlash like this happens.
Aren’t we the same ones who complain about all the black women on TV who don’t have love interests? Mary Jane gets two and suddenly she’s relegated to nothing more than a ho? Sure, not many of us may have found ourselves in the bed of a married man, but don’t act like you’ve never slipped up? That’s what Mary Jane did y’all — slip up. Once! And that’s what makes her human. And relatable. Even if your exact transgression isn’t the same, I would bet my absolute last dollar that every one of you out there has gone back to a man who you knew was no good for you in a moment of weakness. Would you indefinitely label yourself dumb, stupid, or an idiot for that one mistake?
Of course when a character as bright and accomplished as Mary Jane hits our television screens we want the best for her and to see her make the best choices, but let’s be honest, that’s not realistic and if there wasn’t all that sexay drama in the series half of y’all wouldn’t be watching. The purpose of “Being Mary Jane” isn’t to serve as a mirror of black female morality; it’s an exploration of the desperation some single, successful black women feel and the choices they make as a result of said desperation and feelings of hopelessness. Off the bat, not everyone is going to relate to that concept, but surely there are elements of the storyline everyone can understand and it’s those things you can take with you and cherish and the mistakes you can vicariously learn from and make sure you don’t commit them in your own life, lest you have your perfect black woman card revoked.
We can’t abhor the fact that the mammy-Jezebel dichotomy still very much exists in terms of black female sexuality and then ourselves act as though there is no in between. And though we know a lot more rides on the reps of black women than white women, let’s free ourselves of some of the mental shackles. Was anybody out there as disgusted with Carrie when she began an affair with Big while they were both in relationships on “Sex & The City”? Doubt it. For some reason, we can so clearly see and accept white characters on television as just that, characters, but when it comes to black ones they always turn into the be-all end-all of the black experience. I have news for you all, it’s just entertainment. And chances are you can relate to the messiness a little more than you’re willing to let on. So why not turn down your nose just a bit and take the show for what it’s worth to you as an individual instead of worrying about how it makes us look? Truth be told, you’re more likely worried about that issue than anyone else you fear is drawing said comparisons.
Did you catch the pilot episode of “Being Mary Jane” featuring Gabrielle Union this past summer? If not, we advise you ask your BFF, sister or whomever to catch you up ASAP as you don’t want to miss tonight’s premiere episode on BET at 10P/9C. We’ve also included a video below where Union herself breaks down her character to give you a sneak peek of what’s in store! As we’ve already been wondering how the fashion will measure up against another unnamed show featuring a black female lead character, we decided to catch up with the legendary Ruth Carter, the costume designer for “Being Mary Jane.” Carter, an African-American costume designer, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for “Amistad,” and also served as costume designer for ”Lee Daniels The Butler”, “Sparkle” and “Love & Basketball,” just to name a few!
Ruth Carter: Look forward to seeing Mary Jane in Givenchy for sexy dinner at home. We also used great local designers like the Bill Hallman purple romper for an early morning smackdown, and a BCBG silk robe for good ole road rage. Rachel Roy, Prada, La Perla, Burberry, Helmet Lang, Stella McCartney and UGG all make appearances. Even my own personal James Perse sweater makes a last minute appearance.
Find out more about Mary Jane’s wardrobe at StyleBlazer.com
Last night, BET’s new series “Being Mary Jane” made its series debut after keeping fans waiting all summer and fall for the followup to the movie of the same title which aired in July. The 6-month buildup to the show was intense and we hoped that the premiere would echo that intensity when it finally debuted and after witnessing all the chatter on Twitter following last night’s episode, I think we can say it definitely delivered.
In case you missed last night’s show or still have a few lingering thoughts/questions about the episode — like we do — here are the best moments from Season 1, Episode 1 of “Being Mary Jane.” What did you think?
Over the summer, BET got dragged into the middle of an ugly lawsuit with a woman named Stacey Mattocks, the fan responsible for creating the famous Facebook page that urged producers to bring back The Game after the sitcom was canceled by its original network, The CW. Once BET decided to revive the series, they used Stacey and fans like her, who protested against the show’s cancellation, as a means of promoting the show’s return. The page, which was first created in 2008, acquired 750,000 “likes,” later grew by nearly 100,000 “likes” per week as BET promoted the series’ return.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, BET initially offered to pay Stacey $30 per hour as a freelancer for her social media efforts, but they eventually wanted something more permanent, and reportedly offered to pay Stacey $85,000 to promote The Game via social media over a one-year period.
“BET was searching for a more ‘permanent’ way to capitalize on the FB Page and Mattocks’ efforts. Therefore, on December 15, 2010, BET submitted a proposed contract to Mattocks that would have paid her a maximum of $85,000.00 over a one year period. Mattocks declined this offer because it was unreasonably low, would have stripped her of all rights to the FB Page, and, moreover, could have been terminated at any point by BET, with or without cause.”
Once the series premiered, the page garnered 3.3 million “likes”
“In newspaper and magazine articles, Mattocks was credited by BET executives for playing a critical role in reviving interest in the Show and making it a massive success with viewers.”
One issue, however, remained: Stacey refused to relinquish rights to the Facebook page. The struggle continued and in 2011, Stacey even accused the network of having her page deleted by Facebook. Not long after, BET created their own page for the show; however, the page didn’t receive much attention from fans, so they decided to make Stacey another offer— $15,000 for the Facebook and Twitter page that she created. Stacey made a counteroffer for $1.2 million and BET declined. After much back and forth without reaching a resolution, BET sent Stacey a cease and desist letter, requesting that she stop her use of the network’s intellectual property. They also reportedly had Facebook remove Stacey’s page, which is something that she says caused her to lose income, since she formed media partnerships with multiple companies via said page. As a result, the insurance broker sued the television station for tortious interference, breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing. She’s also suing for copyright infringement, as she claims the folks over at BET copied content from her page and used it on their own.
After several months of silence, between finally responded to the suit.
“The conversion claim fails at the outset because a ‘Like’ is not personal property in which Plaintiff has any possessory interest. As the Facebook page itself makes clear, a Facebook user who bestows a ‘Like’ upon a piece of content or a Page on Facebook remains in control of the ‘Like’ at all times and is free to ‘Unlike’ the Page or content as the user sees fit… To the extent a ‘Like’ is anyone’s ‘property’ it belongs to the Facebook user…”
“BET did not revoke Plaintiff’s license until Plaintiff admittedly and intentionally ‘demoted’ BET’s administrative rights so that BET could no longer update the Facebook page in its ‘sole discretion.’ Plaintiff’s allegations do not allege a breach of the terms of the contract and further show that Plaintiff herself breached the license agreement, thereby relieving BET from any obligations thereunder.”
It will be pretty interesting to see how this all plays out. Thoughts?
Jazmine Denise is an entertainment and celebrity news blogger. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Back in October we told you that BET’s new series, Being Mary Jane, starring the beautiful Gabrielle Union, would be debuting on the popular network January 7th. As you may recall, we were first introduced to Mary Jane Paul through an two-hour pilot movie, which aired back in July.
I guess the folks over at BET figured they’d left us is in the dark long enough, so they released a 30-second teaser titled, “Drowning in her own thoughts,” to remind us just how much of a mess Mary Jane’s life actually is. In the trailer, Mary Jane disrobes and sinks into a bathtub full of yellow post-it notes. On the notes are quotes and affirmations including:
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
“Open to love.”
“Feed your soul.”
“I trust me.”
Clearly, homegirl still has a lot of issues that she needs to work out. And we of course, will be tuned in week after week to see how she navigates through them all. In the December 2013 issue of ESSENCE, the actress behind it all opened up about her character in the film, and revealed that she hopes that watching Mary Jane’s life play out on-screen will broaden people’s horizons in regard to sexuality.
“I hope it widens the conversation. I hope people will be more forgiving of those who explore their sexuality unapologetically,” Gabrielle said.
“It would be very easy to label Mary Jane a ho a freak , a ho, whatever. But enjoying sex doesn’t make you a ho,” she continued, referencing that infamous scene where Mary Jane pleasures herself before going on a date to tame her sexual desires.
Check out the Being Mary Jane teaser on page two. Will you be tuning in January 7th when it airs?
If you’ve ever gone to a PWI (predominately white institution), you know the struggle of trying to have a gathering or event for black folks and having white men and women say, “But it would be racist if we had a white homecoming, right? That’s so hypocritical!” But you would think that in everyday life, if folks want to have black awards shows and event to show love to people who don’t get their just dues in the mainstream media, it wouldn’t be a problem. But alas, with Twitter, there’s always a platform to complain and bash just about everything and make it trend for attention. Such was the case with folks going in on the Black Girls Rock event that aired on Sunday night on BET, with white folks (and even some black folks) deciding to push a #WhiteGirlsRock hashtag that was pure foolery:
And the Tweets went on and on with folks basically saying the same thing: If white women had a show solely praising their accomplishments, black folks would be up in arms. But of course, these Tweets were met with responses from black individuals who reminded everyone that when you’re in the majority, you will always see positive images of yourself (and just more images in general) on television and in the media, so would you really need a White Girls Rock show? Folks are always looking for a reason to pit one group of people against another these days. Writer Dream Hampton, a producer for the event, even decided to share the real:
Soon as white women show up at a runway show and ask ‘Why is this show totally white?’ I’ll pay attention to #whitegirlsrock
And it continued from others:
If you want #WhiteGirlsRock just check out the shows on CBS, NBC, ABC, MTV, FOX NEWS, Lifetime, HBO, Showtime, TNT, USA Networks…
It’s a shame how many black dudes are protesting for a #WhiteGirlsRock platform. Do their capes for their snow bunnies ever come off?
All in all, it’s just a shame that something folks CLEARLY didn’t watch and give time to before making a judgment was getting attacked for celebrating women who do great things and influence young black girls everywhere. And when you have people on Twitter steady trying to bring you down and ask why sistas even deserve an event to show love to one another, it makes such a celebration all the more necessary. Haters.
When BET premiered the pilot movie for Gabrielle Union’s Being Mary Jane in July of this year, I had high expectations for the show. Thankfully, the program, which is an hour-long scripted series from the mind of the uber-talented Mara Brock Akil, exceeded all of them, and seemed to impress many of the people I knew–including many of our readers. And the viewers tuned in big time, helping the pilot rake in more than 4 million viewers. Unfortunately, that would be the only taste of the show we would get for 2013, as we were quickly told that a full season of it wouldn’t be available until 2014 (even though BET was so confident in the program, it’s already renewed it for a second season). But good news! We know the exact date you need to be in front of your TV (or set your DVR), and have a clip from the upcoming season to share.
According to Shadow and Act, the first season of Being Mary Jane will debut on Tuesday, January 7 at 10 p.m. In this new offering, we will continue to watch Mary Jane try to deal with her volatile love life (last time we checked, she was stealing s*men from her ex-boyfriend…), her crazy family and try to keep her head above water at her job. In this new clip from the upcoming season, we see Mary Jane having a moral issue while delivering news for her popular show, “Talk Back With Mary Jane Paul” for the cable news network she works for. After delivering a shady story to pull in viewers, she has a heated exchange with her boss, Kara (Lisa Vidal). Check it out for yourself below and let us know if you’re as excited as we are about the show coming back!
In a new chapter of the cougar files (kidding!), actress Vivica A. Fox spoke with BET recently about the state of her love life, and why she’s trying to be worried more about what’s inside of a man as opposed to what he’s got going on, on the outside. If you’ll recall, she was in a pretty serious relationship with Atlanta party promoter Omar “Slim” White that culminated in an engagement. But after 10 months of planning for their future, he called the whole thing off, saying it had nothing to do with the 20 year age difference, but that they simply grew apart:
“She’s a good woman, it’s just one of those situations where in life people outgrow each other. I’m highly intelligent, very wise and one thing I hate is negativity and drama, I hate arguing, and I value communication no matter what the problem may be. So as in any relationship, tension can build up and I finally had to walk away. I was only in it for love and it just didn’t work out. Even though she was older than me the age difference didn’t play a part.”
She didn’t comment on his claims (though she says SHE broke up with him), but it’s clear now that she’s learned from that past relationship, is ready to date again and wants it to be less about the physical. Here’s what she told BET:
“I used to be so lustful. I would lose my mind over a six pack and a smile, it would get me every time and usually get me in trouble. Pretty eyes, pretty teeth? Forget about it! But, I think now I’m looking for a good partner, just a good man, whereas before it would be mostly physical. Now, I need a man who’s a gentleman, more old-fashioned. Someone who I could laugh with and have fun with. I’m trying to date above 30 now. Thirty to 35 is the window. Not saying I won’t make an exception if someone special comes along, though! [Laughs]“ “The best part is waking up every day and being able to do whatever I want. I don’t have to answer to anybody, ain’t nobody quizzing Vivica about where she’s going or what she’s doing! But seriously, it’s been a couple of years now since I broke up with my fiancé, and I think I’m ready to start dating again.”
And who are Viv’s celebrity crushes?
“Oh, a combination of Idris Elba and Blair Underwood. Idris I like because he’s European, a little bit more worldly. Blair, I know him personally and I know he’s such a wonderful person, just a good man and a good father. He’s just got that man swagger!”
I think many of us have lessons that we learned from dating younger or older, and it seems Vivica is ready to let love in again. What kind of man do you think would be a good match for the 49-year-old?