Judge Throws Out B. Scott’s Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Against BET
We’ve just learned that a judge has dismissed B. Scott’s gender discrimination lawsuit against BET.
As you may recall, B sued the network and parent company, Viacom, following last year’s BET Awards after he was forced by executives to change from women’s clothing into men’s clothes. Though he complied with the network’s orders, he was eventually removed from the red carpet pre-show altogether and replaced by “The Real” co-host Adrienne Bailon.
“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,” B said in a statement following the filing of his lawsuit.
“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..”
Despite B’s expressed humiliation over the whole fiasco, Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos found that the 1st amendment provides BET with the right to run the network and dress its hosts however they see fit, TMZ reports. B released an official statement shortly after the ruling, which reads:
“It’s unfortunate that Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos presiding over today’s motion failed to consider the facts in their entirety, especially pertaining to a case as unique as this one. It disheartens me that the message sent today wasn’t a message of acceptance, but rather it’s acceptable to discriminate against transgender individuals on the basis of their gender identity and expression – and that such discriminatory acts are protected under the first amendment.
As my attorney and I seek to appeal the judge’s decision on the motion to strike in the California Court of Appeal, we’re continuing to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community and to remind the world that it’s ok to be who you are.
Standing up for your rights and the rights of others can be a lengthy, uphill war. When one battle is lost, another is waged and yet we must press forward.
Although I’m saddened by what today’s verdict means for myself and other members of the LGBTQ community, the struggle is not over. I will pursue progress and human rights for our community through the Appellate Court where I hope that my unique set of circumstances and BET/Viacom’s treatment of me will collectively yield active legislation to prevent anyone else from having to suffer as I have – without networks being able to disguise their unlawful discriminatory practices with vague, umbrella terms like ‘creative privilege’.
I’m committed to change, progress, human rights and equality for all, and by no means do I feel defeated.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.”
Interestingly, B also says that his war against the network is nowhere near over.