All Articles Tagged "BET"
Motivation comes in many forms. One motivational musical piece for me is Nina Simone’s melodious proclamation that, “In the whole world there are a billion boys and girls who are young, gifted and Black, and that’s a fact!” But if I could add an adjective to this adage it would read, “To Be Young, Gifted, Black, and Fat.”
Yes, it must be written and archived! Notated and dialogued. Black women living on the plus-er side of life are walking with more confidence than ever and taking over Hollywood and primetime television at the same time. You no longer have to “watch out for the big girl.” We are here, taking names, and cashing checks.
In an industry where thin and white is the prototype for beauty, opportunities for actresses who are Black and thicker than thick used to be non-existent unless they were playing the Mammy; and in most cases, they were muted of all beauty and sexuality. We honor those Black actresses like Hattie McDaniel for breaking down barriers in the entertainment industry so that there would be a place, time and opportunity for actresses today to share their talent with the world. We are thankful that we are able to see images of our likeness on television and in film.
Today, the list of beautiful and plump actresses is steadily growing. Writers have started to give an authentic voice to female characters who have more to love. The characters now have more depth. We are transitioning from being able to play only the maid, the mom, and the sassy best friend, to having successful lives and even having love interests.
One evening I watched Raven Goodwin in her role as Niecy Patterson on BET’s Being Mary Jane. Goodwin was standing in front of the mirror, glowing in the eminence of her beauty as she tried on clothes for a night out. She stared proudly at who she saw in that mirror and I was ecstatic about it. The brilliantly edited montage of Goodwin getting dressed in form-fitting clothing even featured a moment where she stood in her bra and panties, showing the world that size does not diminish beauty. It was a scene I’d been waiting to see for my entire life.
But BET isn’t the only network to be blessed with a voluptuous beauty on one of their shows. Millions of us tuned in every Wednesday for eight weeks straight to watch the new FOX Drama, Empire. Cookie wasn’t the only one serving fierce night after night. Gabourey Sidibe came pumping through the halls of Empire Entertainment as Becky, the loyal yet firm executive assistant to Lucious Lyon. On Empire, Sidibe is witty and fearless, and her confidence is contagious. As a plus-size woman, I can admit that I have an insecurity about wearing tops that expose my arms. I just can’t do it. So I’d often yell at the screen, “Gabby, where are your sleeves?!” But I was honestly glad to see that Sidibe didn’t care one bit and wore the hell out of every outfit!
Fox may have its suspect views on pretty much everything, but it’s clear they love us BBWs. Before Sidibe, Glee featured the beautiful Amber Riley as belting diva club member Mercedes Jones. Riley even catapulted that opportunity into a stint on Dancing With The Stars, taking home the mirrorball trophy in 2013.
What’s most heartwarming is that even in an industry where competition is seemingly inevitable, these three young women can be seen flicking it up on Instagram and hanging out together. Yes, Black women of Hollywood do support one another.
But this is just the beginning for plus-size actresses. There are more of us out there patiently waiting in the wings. We are going from overlooked to overbooked. We are beautiful, smart, sexy, and have a rightful place in film and television. “Oh but my joy of today is that we can all be proud to say, to be young, gifted, Black, and fat is where it’s at!”
After two years of litigation, BET/Viacom and media personality B. Scott have reached a settlement. To recap, Scott was supposed to host the red carpet pre-show for the network’s 2013 BET Awards. However, things took a nasty turn when the transgender host was snatched off of the carpet just after the pre-show began and replaced by “The Real” host Adrienne Bailon. Apparently, Scott and the network were unable to see eye-to-eye about his attire for the show. Even after he changed clothes, they still did not allow him to return to the carpet. As a result, he sued for gender discrimination, and they’ve been back and forth to court ever since. In 2014, the case was thrown out by a judge, but Scott vowed that he would not be letting up and filed an appeal.
From the looks of it, BET and the blogger have either reached a resolution or have grown equally weary in fighting this legal battle and decided to throw in the towel because Scott happily took to the ‘web earlier today to announce that a settlement has been reached. His statement reads:
“Dear love muffins,
After two years of a lengthy legal battle with BET/Viacom, I can say that a settlement has been reached and ‘the matter is resolved.’
It’s never an easy decision to stand up for yourself and fight for your right to be who you are. It’s something that I believe in and it’s something that I’ll always continue to defend.
In recent months we’ve witnessed transgender individuals, gender non-conforming performers, and other allies in the fight for equality receive opportunities that may not have been extended to them a few years ago.
I’m proud to say I’m part of the change. I truly hope that by walking in my truth it encourages others to be who they are. Thank you to my attorney Waukeen McCoy, my family and friends and of course my love muffins for all of your continued support.
I must say, through it all God is so good.”
Scott’s attorney Waukeen McCoy also commented on the resolve, saying:
“Anti-Slapp statutes should not be used as a shield against discriminatory actions in an employment setting. Resolving litigation is good for all parties.”
Details regarding the settlement have not been revealed.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise
No, it’s not just you — Black Entertainment Television (BET) has been, indeed, drowning us in a flood of advertisements by condensing our favorite shows into smaller time frames. But you won’t believe the tactics they’re using to do it.
Besides chopping program segments to size, cable networks are speeding up shows, using compression technology, to make more room for advertisers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Take Stephen Cox’s experience, for example, when the pop culture author watched the Wizard of Oz on TBS last year: “Their voices were raised a notch,” he said about the 1939 classic. “It was astounding to me.”
He wasn’t imagining it. Cable networks sped up Dorothy’s yellow brick road journey “to meet audience guarantees made to advertisers and prop up revenue despite falling ad prices,” WSJ said.
While WSJ discovered that TBS is a major culprit of using compression technology, BET is the No. 1 offender. The African American-targeted cable network had the highest average time of commercial runs per hour at 24.2 minutes. TV Land follows at 22.9 minutes. Animal Planet landed in third place with 18.6 minutes and TBS follows in fourth place.
These are all well beyond the average cable commercial run of 15.8 minutes per hour.
Interestingly, many of the channels listed on WSJ’s top ad-squeezers are subsidiaries of Viacom. Besides BET, this includes MTV, TV Land, and Spike.
“It is a way to keep the revenue from going down as much as the ratings,” a top executive at a major cable programmer told WSJ. “The only way we can do it is to double down and stretch the unit load a little more.”
But the problem is that by squeezing in more commercials to counterbalance falling ratings, cable networks are exacerbating the issue, not fixing it. Who really wants to sit through an hour of programming when nearly half of it is all advertising?
“It has gotten completely out of control,” a distribution head from a major network said. “I’m concerned when you look at the performance being diminished and hurt by their running the shows that way.”
More interestingly, speeding up content may be discordant with contracts inked between networks and studios. “They are not allowed to do anything to the content. They have to run it in the way it is delivered,” the unnamed distribution chief added.
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman spoke out against the compression practice: “It is not how it was shot, written or imagined. It wasn’t meant to be that way, so don’t make it that way.”
What do you think?
As the return of “Being Mary Jane” gets closer and closer, BET is giving us more clues about what we can expect during season 2. First, there was the trailer and now there’s a two and a half minute supertrailer where all types of crazy stuff goes down.
In this supertrailer alone, I counted Mary Jane with at least three different men, there are eery talks of suicide, her best friend Mark is pretending to be straight and then her doctor friend wonders why Mary Jane gets everything and she gets nothing. Honey, and that’s just what I could muster up the energy to type right now. There is so much more in that 2 minute and thirty five second video.
Get into it below.
You can watch the second season of “Being Mary Jane” on Tuesday, February 3 on BET.
When “The Game” first made its official appearance in 2006, viewers were drawn in with the amazing writing, and great acting from the ensemble cast. After a premature cancellation, and a revival through BET, “The Game” has reached a large audience and brought the dramedy four more seasons.
As the final season is about to begin, I wanted to honor this amazing show with a list of some of the best episodes.
A small caveat, this list is only comprised of the CW episodes. I went through a period without cable, and never caught back up with the BET episodes.
It was hard to cut it down (my original list had 27 episodes, and I was trying really hard to not include everything), but I think I have a pretty decent list.
If I missed your favorite, let’s talk about it in the comment section!
From Single Black Male
Shad Moss’s career is essentially over as a host and actor. Well, damn. Today I’m going to take a look at the shows and people over the years that BET either cancelled or lost. All I can say is, “It’s a damn shame what they did to that channel.”
Find out the ten shows or hosts BET got rid of at SingleBlackMale.org
Robert L Johnson, founder of BET and RLJ Entertainment, has been planning his entry into digital technology since his days at BET.
In an interview last week, Johnson explained that it had long been his vision to provide African American audiences in particular with targeted programming and entertainment. It was the formation of the cable industry in the 70s and 80s, which not only ushered in a new way we received content (through satellite and cable), but helped to loosen the monopoly both the studios and networks had on its content distribution. This transformation also paved the way for BET to serve a niche audience (I.e Black people) that both the networks and studio ignored or didn’t even believe existed.
Johnson said that this shift is happening again. “And so because I had the knowledge and experience of seeing what happened when cable satellite came about, I recognize that digital was going to transform the media landscape in much of the same way,” he said.
And just like BET, Johnson is hoping his latest venture, the Urban Movie Channel, will again be at the forefront of this new technological transformation of how we receive cultural-centered content. The UMC, which is available at www.urbanmoviechannel.com, is digital subscription video-on-demand (VOD) channel that caters to a largely urban and African American audience.
“You can call it the targeted version of Netflix and I think that is a fair analysis but beyond that, there is both a cultural model and a business model to consider,” he said.
As the name suggests UMC has feature length films including sentimental dramas like All Things Fall Apart and blaxploitation classic like Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. But there are also live concert music and comedy films like Kevin Hart’s I’m A Grown Little Man, and Welcome To Death Row. And there are also documentaries like Dark Girls and stage play productions like David E. Talbert presents: What Goes Around Comes Around.
Currently, the Urban Movie Channel is up and operational, and as Johnson touts, it can be seen from Newark to Nigeria. In an effort to attract audience, the VOD site is offering free service with membership subscription through February 2015. After that, the plans will start at $4.99 a month, which Johnson notes is significantly lower than what many people pay for subscription to HBO or Showtime on their cable packages.
He also notes that is a solid price for content that Black households have longed pined for. “Basically, this is universal distribution without any gatekeeping,” he said.
In addition to providing on-demand and live streaming market for Black and urban audiences, which rivals the like Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime, Johnson said that the UMC provides a great opportunity for Black and urban content creators to not only have access to a platform but tell stories without limitations.
As Johnson points out: Hollywood makes the decisions of the kinds of films that get made and cable channels make decisions about the kind of channels it wants to distribute. Likewise, advertisers, who hold the most control in the current content creation distribution structure, only advertise on programs with compatible values with its brand.
“Using digital platforms or digital media, is a direct way to do it without having to go through lots of gatekeepers, who would either control your access to the consumers, or your audience, or in some way censor or filter it in a way that may not be consistent information you want to give to your consumer,” said Johnson.
The Urban Movie Channel is not RLJ Entertainment’s first foray into digital content distribution. Two years ago, Johnson purchased two companies: Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group to formed RLJ Entertainment. Through the acquisition, RLJ Entertainment became the holder of licenses to over 160 urban or African American oriented movie titles.
Last year, RLJ Entertainment announced the creation of two other VOD digital channels: OnCueNetwork, which also showed movies, documentaries and other programming targeted to African American and Acorn TV, which exclusively shows British dramas and mysteries.
After a successful test run and partnership with YouTube, OnCue is being phased out to make way for UMC, which will be hosted on its own digital platform. However Acorn TV will still operate separately (and is too still available via YouTube). Unlike Netflix, which still offers DVD rentals, UMC will be strictly be video-on-demand. However Johnson said that he is looking to distribute some of UMC’s content on both DVD and Blu-Ray to other distribution networks like Red Box, Target and Wal-Mart.
In addition to the licenses RLJ Entertainment already holds, Johnson said that the group will be reaching out to the major studios for content. Likewise, UMC will will be looking to partner with the creative community for stories that are “rarely told” by the mainstream film studios and on networks.
“So we will be talking to producers and talent and film financiers and independent production companies to say let’s sit down and help you tell those stories and [let’s talk about] how you can monetize those stories, create value for yourself and create compelling content for the millions of subscribers, who I believe want to see the stories you have to tell,” he said.
Johnson adds that telling those stories has now become much easier in the digital age.“When I was running BET, we were an advertiser supported network. So if I put on a show Proctor of Gamble didn’t like or another advertiser didn’t like, it would be tough to keep that program going,” he said, recounting how advertisers would police content on BET in ways he felt they weren’t doing for other cable networks.
Now, he said, the power is in the hands of Black and urban audience members instead of advertisers, networks and studios. “It’s only the consumers now, who has a say. If they like it, they’ll pay for it and if they don’t, they won’t watch.”
Aspire and Centric are not budging…at least not yet.
The television channels have decided they will continue to air reruns of the Cosby Show. Centric, owned by BET confirmed to EW that they will continue to air reruns of the series. In addition to Centric, Aspire, created by Magic Johnson, will also continue to air The Bill Cosby Show on it’s channel. A spokesperson told EW “We continue to closely monitor the situation. Currently the show is still running.”
Both channels reach a total of 72 million homes and target black viewers.
Bill Cosby, the main character of The Cosby Show and The Bill Cosby show has been in the headlines of every newspaper for weeks now. Nine women have accused him of drugging and raping them. Janice Dickinson is among the women accusing him of misusing their trust and assaulting them.
Tvland, Netflix and NBC have all pulled programming related to Cosby.
I’m sure some of you clicked on this post just to complain about the title of this new series. “The Book of Negroes” is certainly eye-brow raising. And while I personally don’t have a problem with it, you wouldn’t be the first person to have an aversion to it. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the content first, shall we?
“The Book of Negroes” is based on Lawrence Hill’s novel of the same name. The story is about Aminata Diallo, played by Aunjanue Ellis, an African woman kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa and sold into slavery in South Carolina. Somehow she manages to navigate her way through the American Revolution where she secures her freedom and travels to England to fight for the British army.
The story is certainly intriguing. Clement Virgo, director of the six part miniseries, found the same thing. Initially, even Virgo had an aversion to the title. But after reading it, he said “He couldn’t imagine the novel being called anything else.”
Which is why he chose to use it for the miniseries. And not just to provoke or disturb. Instead the title refers to a book of genealogy kept by the British Navy on the slaves who left their captors to serve with the red coats in the Revolutionary War. It documented each former slave’s country of origin. And when the British lost, they honored their promise to free the African soldiers after the war.
Initially in 2010, Virgo tried to turn the story into a feature length film but distributors didn’t think audiences would take to it. It was Canadian broadcasters who saw it as a miniseries and decided to make it. And after BET aired Roots for the first time, attracting 4 million viewers, distributors knew it would do well with American audiences too. It also didn’t hurt that 12 Years A Slave took home the Oscar for best picture last year.
Now, “The Book of Negroes” will air in six parts on BET in February, presumably for Black History Month.
And while this is another slave story, Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays Samuel Fraunces, in the miniseries, says it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
“It’s told from a female perspective with a sense of empowerment. Through Aminata’s journey we see the strength of her character. I didn’t know anything about The Book of Negroes, or the slaves participation with the British and upon hearing this–it always upsets me when I hear about something I didn’t know: Like The Tuskegee Airmen, The Book Of Negroes is another upsetting moment for African Americans, when we have made a positive impact on the building of America, but our history hasn’t been told. Hearing this tale of strength moved me.”
I feel that.
Plus, the trailer makes it look absolutely amazing. Take a look below and kudos to BET for getting behind such a much-needed project.