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Meagan Good at 2013 BET Awards - Backstage Winner's Room

Source: Mike Windle / Getty

Back in 2013, Meagan Good found herself embroiled in an unexpected controversy after she wore a low-cut blue dress to the BET Awards. A year prior, she married DeVon Franklin, who aside from being a producer also does some ministerial work. People saw her as a preacher’s wife because of that, and she was scolded by Christians online who said her look was inappropriate. The drama followed her even while she and Franklin promoted their book The Wait, and she was notoriously confronted on the book tour by a critic who asked her if she was going to cover up.

Good has long moved on from that drama over a dress, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t think back on it with annoyance. During an interview with The Daily Beast to promote her self-directed new film, If Not Now, When? she described the criticism she’s received as a “full-on assault, and it went on for years.” She said because of the backlash over her clothing, for a time, whenever she dressed up for an event or Halloween, “I definitely had the trauma of ‘I know I’m going out in front of the firing squad.'”

The year after the debate over her dress, she was still understandably sensitive about it. She shared a story with The Daily Beast about a time when those behind the BET Awards asked her to present at the show in 2014 and make light of everything that happened the year before. She refused because there was nothing funny about what she dealt with. She said in response, they rescinded her invitation to present, which left her in tears.

“The next year for the BET Awards, they reached out to have me present, and the script was me and Nick Cannon, and he was going, ‘Meagan, I see that you wore a different dress this year—a lot more covered up!’ and I’m like, ‘Ha-ha-ha!’ I called them and said, ‘I don’t feel like this is funny. For one, that was not a funny experience—it was traumatizing—and two, I’m not going to go up there and act like I’m apologizing to someone when I have nothing to apologize for,'” she said. “Their response was: ‘You either say it or you don’t present.’ So I was like, ‘OK, then I won’t present.’ And when I got off the phone, I cried. I was like, ‘Would you do this to Gabrielle Union or Taraji? You have this perception of me, and it’s crazy that you want to hold me to what that should be.’ I’m not going for it.”

The next time Good attended the BET Awards was in 2016, so that tells you all you need to know. The network has been called out in the past for making light of things that aren’t necessarily funn, like Blue Ivy’s hair. There’s no hard feelings with BET, but Good admitted that it took time to not have hard feelings towards her censors. However, she’s vowed to never let them repress her individuality.

“No one will ever control what I do or how I do it; it will always be spirit-led, and how I feel God feels about it,” she said. “It took me a long time to not feel so hurt and be so affected.”

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