B.Scott Stings BET and Viacom With Multi-Million Dollar Gender Identity Discrimination Lawsuit
Early last month we told you about a dispute that broke out between BET and B.Scott just before this year’s annual BET Awards was scheduled to begin. You see, the network asked the transgender media maven to host their Style Stage red carpet pre-show. Although the BET had previously approved his outfit for the show, not long after he began conducting live red carpet interviews, he was pulled backstage and told that his look “wasn’t appropriate” from head-to-toe. He believes that the decision was made because he was wearing women’s clothing. Scott says that he was forced into men’s clothing and when he returned to the carpet, he learned that he’d been replaced by Adrienne Bailon. Now, he’s suing for gender identity discrimination.
According to TMZ, he’s requesting $2.5 million in damages and an apology for the humiliation and detriment that the incident did to his reputation. He recently posted a statement to his website explaining the lawsuit. His statement reads:
“I’m sure by now you’re aware of an unfortunate incident that occurred while I was serving as Style Stage Correspondent for the 2013 BET Awards Pre-Show. After sharing my open letter with the world I’ve received tons of support from family, friends and love muffins for which I’m truly grateful.
While I want nothing more than to put this incident behind me and move on with my life, I still wholeheartedly believe that I’m entitled to a true public apology. BET’s non-apology statement added more insult to injury. What happened to me was not a ‘miscommunication’ nor was it ‘unintentional’. It was wrong. I have been vehemently trying to come to a resolution with BET and Viacom behind the scenes. After a few weeks of back and forth dialogue with no foreseeable resolution, I have filed a lawsuit against BET and its parent company Viacom for discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation..
Over the years my love muffins and strangers alike have questioned me about my gender identity. What IS B. Scott? As a society we’ve been conditioned to believe that a person has to be ‘exactly’ this or ‘exactly’ that. Biologically, I am male — as my sex was determined at birth by my reproductive organs.
However, my spirit truly lies somewhere in between. It is that same spirit that has allowed me to become so comfortable in my skin, choose how I express myself, and contributes to how I live my day-to-day life.
It is by that definition that I accept and welcome the ‘transgender’ label with open arms.
It is also by that definition that BET and Viacom willingly and wrongfully discriminated against my gender identity during the 2013 BET Awards Pre-Show.
Let’s be clear — I’m suing BET and Viacom for a true public apology and to be fairly remunerated for the time lost, humiliation and emotional distress this entire situation has put me through.”
BET has yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit.
Check out his official court documents below. What are your thoughts on the case?