Monday, July 6, 2009

Leave BET Alone....

I've had a chance to sit and marinate on this one because I had a proposal to get done, but I had to comment on the discussion around the annual BET Awards. A lot of the commentary I heard was from middle-class circles whose values and ideologies are closer to mine, but are CLEARLY the polar opposite of who BET is targeting. I realized a long time ago after growing up watching videos on BET that they were not targeting the late twenties and early thirties version of me like they were the teenage version. How else am I to understand the canceling of almost every show that had anything to do with engaging the intellect and informing the community. I loved TAVIS... they cancelled it. I loved Ed Gordon...they cancelled it. I enjoyed the BET Nightly News...they cancelled it. If the one station dedicated to the Black community cannot even support a news broadcast when we are constantly saying that we are not covered fairly by the CNNs and FoxNews networks, then clearly, their value system is different than mine, and I can either enjoy Tiny and Toya or not. I choose not.

So if you're like me and expect BET to be so much more than it is, you cannot be surprised when Soulja Boy is one of the main Michael Jackson tribute performances because his audience is who BET wants to watch. You can't be surprised when T-pain rolls out the BIG ASS CHAIN, and you just have to shake your head when you see Lil' Wayne with his daughter on stage while singing about "loving" every girl in the world. You embrace that they tried to give "Grown Folk" something with the Ojays tribute, and keep it moving by doing something about your disdain for BET's programming. Support BETJ for example, where all the "Grown and sexy" programming is supposed to be. Find TVOne on your dial and support that, but don't waste your time hoping that the flagship is going to care how "ghetto" you think their awards show is. Clearly it's doing well enough to satisfy the Viacom folk, and that's all that matters. As long as College Hill, and Baldwin Hills and Keyshia Cole get ratings, then who cares how what the message is, or how it's perceived. So leave BET alone, you'll keep from popping some blood vessels that way.

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