I’ve gotten into many a twitter battle, and quite a few actual conversations/debates/arguments about OUR network BET. IN 2012 and honestly, some great deal of time before, it’s become almost encouraged to bash the efforts and decisions made on BET. I’m not here to try and completely change your mind and feeling about BET because honestly I don’t agree with everything they’ve done. My goal is to open a discussion where we reevaluate our feelings and as opposed to bashing the ONLY network for us, we began to expect and require more from it. Let’s start with the good.
In all of it’s ratchet glory the BET Awards is the only awards show that recognizes black artists appropriately in their respective genres and categories. For example, Rihanna (whom we love) won this year’s American Music Award for Soul/RnB Album with Talk That Talk and was nominated for Soul/RnB artist. I know y’all see the problem here. The BET Awards also provide recognition to a lot of artists and talent in the music industry who sincerely wouldn’t get it otherwise. As well as providing a different, more specific and accurate playing field for competing acts. This is the good they do. The BET Awards celebrates us/our music.
Another point of interest is the programming that BET provides. If it weren’t for VH1 and Bravo there’d only be the occasional token black person displayed on other networks. The disconnect though is that people went nutzo over the representation of black women on certain shows, started petitions to get them off the air but didn’t support the positive programming and roles that were presented by BET. There are/were shows on BET with black parents, raising black families, promoting great values in storylines that are relevant to the black community and they get absolutely no love.
On the inverse, with the exception of The Game’s now crazy storyline and character arcs, the shows on BET are dated. Laugh tracks? Really? It’s like they’re trying to force this dram-edy thing to happen. Reed Between the Lines and Let’s Stay Together are also very blatant attempts at attempting to do Better. TJ Holmes proudly left CNN to host Don’t Sleep on BET, they started out at 30mins Mon-Thurs at 11pm discussing politics and current events relevant to our community, and while it wasn’t the best arrangement only being half an hour at the latest hour, it’s arguably better than their recent cut down to one hour Wednesday night at 11pm. This is a REAL show! Excusing the uncomfortable semi-monologue at the beginning, the dialogue and guest commentators are impeccable! No one watches. It’s a cycle, no ratings equals no advertisements, no advertisements equals no money, no money equals same budget to produce the same basic sh…ows. The same basic shows.
So why is that? How is it that we can be ridiculously vocal about things that offend or misrepresent us, but when provided the opportunity to discuss what it is exactly that we want, the trending topics section goes back to #ButIGotThemJsTho ? So I’m challenging you, Civilized readers, what are some things you would like to see change on BET? What would bring you back to running home to catch it like the AJ & Free days of 106th? 2013 is two holidays and a drunk text message away, lets be the change.