You Know What, F**k BET…

Yeah I said it. Don’t act like you weren’t thinking the same thing.

Matter of fact, you can tell Robert Johnson and Debra Lee I said so. And if you do see them, ask them what happened to Teen Summit? What happened to Tavis Smiley on the late night news? You know what, what happened to Rap City?! Perhaps it’s the state of hip hop itself, but I can’t mess with it. Every time I tune into that station I’m disappointed. Black Exploitation Television continues to promote coonery and reinforce stereotypes. I’ve seen enough fronts, allusions to drug sales and cash falling from the sky to last me a lifetime. If I can stop my eyes from bleeding and decide to watch it with my younger family members, I feel the need to give a disclaimer every 10 seconds. “You know when you have money, you can’t just throw it in the air and expect women to instantly appear.”

The whole concept of the station has depreciated and is now a shell of its former glory. Some folks will sit here and say, it’s the rappers’ fault. If the rappers didn’t shoot videos that way there would be no problem. No. First of all, most artists now will do what sells and what’s easiest. If Jeezy just did a video in the hood for “Put On” and The Recession does well, there will be a ton of artists with Young in front of their name replicating the formula. Just ask Hova. Also, as any person who works in business will tell you, the distributors call the shots. WalMart wants you to do a four pack of toilet paper, instead of a six, because they think that’s what will sell; what do you know there’s a four pack on the shelf. They leverage the fact that you need them, more than they need you. So if BET curtailed the type of media it was putting out there and asked for better content, record labels would oblige because they want to get their artists on the channel. No passing the buck here homie.

O.K., let’s forget the music videos, what about the shows on BET? American Gangster. Really? That’s the piece of African American history they want to give to our youth? If that’s the most provocative or poignant story they could tell about our history, you need to pick up, open and scan a book or two. If folks want to talk about American Gangster, do a documentary on Nat Turner. Or Huey P. Or Malcolm. Killing your own people is not gangster. Standing up to racist America to further your people’s cause; however, is.

Also, there’s no creativity in the content. All of the shows are knock offs of their Viacom partner, MTV. It doesn’t take a genius to see it. First there was the “Real World”, now there’s “College Hill”. Then MTV premiered “The HIlls”, now there’s “Baldwin Hills”. The only promising show they have is “The Truth with Jeff Johnson” and it’s buried that with a horrible time slot – Fridays at 11pm. You know Black people are supposed to be on the forefront of creativity, not lagging behind. FYI – Rock and Roll, that was us. Blues too. Hip hop is still ours, sort of. So please BET, step your game up. It’s a sad state of affairs when other networks are doing shows to interest educated Black folk. VH1 Soul plays better music than them. CNN does a three part series on the State of Blacks in America. Instead of continuously doing this shuck and jive TV, I feel they should premier something for the betterment of our people.

On that note, I’m going home. You can catch me standing on my coffee table, popping a bottle and watching my money fall from the ceiling in slow motion. In my backyard, there will be some 3/4 nude chicks washing my car which is on 24s. If you feel like joining me in Fantasy Island, holla.

Seattle – I’ll Start With Straight Shots, Then Pop Bottles – Washington


19 responses to “You Know What, F**k BET…

  1. So did you watch Chris Rock’s special last night? Just curious b/c of the “Yeah I said it.” Chris was sayin that a lot in his special.

    Anyway back to topic…I agree about BET. It has become MTV’s little sibling and the both are a bunch of trash TV. Except 106 & Park, I only like that to catch up on videos.

    I had a class in undergrad called African American Women History and we had a lecture about BET and how it’s gone downhill. A takeaway I remember that the Professor mentioned was how BET canceled a lot of the more educational, uplifting programs because they simply didn’t get viewers and that they are going in this direction because it’s all the viewers will watch. That is sad. I personally enjoy watching more educational stuff rather than this garbage real world/college hill, the hills/baldwin hills BS. What’s even more sad to me is that The History Channel, Discovery, and all of the other more educational channels don’t even get that many new programs. I guess people just want to see reality TV.

  2. BET been whack. It’s gone down hill since they got rid of Carribean Rhythms w/ Rachel.

    Nice post tho.. i like how you understand the nature of the beast and didn’t just blame rappers cause they “make it rain”, “sit on 24’s”, and “pop bottles”.

    Although, I don’t think American Gangster is all bad because they aren’t glorifying what these dudes have done.. but all in all we continually see those certain images of black people, it would be good to see portraits on notable black folks in various fields… so that these kids can learn a lil about their culture. (these kids prolly won’t watch it tho… sad dilemma , huh?)

    – Gs.&.B.

  3. BET is trash, they dont even show whole music videos anymore. I never understood why BET was centered around music. Black Entertainment Television should be everything we want to see and not just music. MTV Jams and VH1 Soul are much better stations.

  4. I watched BET for the first time in over a year while sitting in a Caribbean restaurant a couple weeks ago. I dropped the fork holding my curry goat and almost spit out my ginger beer. I believe the Soulja Boy/Bow Wow song “Marco Polo” was on. I wanted to take the tv off its stand and throw it against the wall. They really need to chance the name of the station. I think people would be able to deal with BET if they renamed it to something without the word “Black ” in it.

  5. Ha. See, the problem is that BET may be “Black Entertainment Television”, it may be run by a Black Woman, it may have been started by a Black Man, and may show programs w/Black People but at the end of the day, one must remember that BET is run by n0n-Black people who could care less about educating any black person or anyone who dares to watch BET about anything GOOD or SUCCESSFUL that a black person has done. See, what happened was Mr. Bob Johnson sold his soul to the highest bidder all to get that CASH MONEY! Being a billionaire doesn’t happen unless sell the one channel that Black Folks use to be able to hear their side of the story/struggle from, also while slightly enjoying a relatively decent video or new show. See what’s really going on is that people still seem to think that BET cares about its viewers and I guess in a way they kind of do. The viewers they care about are the ones who continuously tune in to watch this garbage and as long as they can sell garbage at a decent market rate and make a profit, they win and could care less if you lose. So take away their voice, take away their vision, take away their history, cripple their brain with garbage and give the ones at the top a little bit of our money and they should be passified enough to not really give a fucc!

  6. Seattle Washington

    Wow, Rachel with the fake Jamaican accent. At least she was cute…

    Yeah, BET has been in declined for a bit now. As Steph & Brooklyn’s Own pointed out, it’s all about profit. Putting on shows that will get viewers regardless if how horrible they may be.

    Do they owe us anything? It is a Black media outlet, but they are still a company that still must turn a profit.

    & Slim raised a good point, would it matter if they removed Black from the name? If it were just a mainstream media outlet showing this type of programs?

  7. RightCoastLexSteele bka God's Gift to Humanity

    I feel you the distributors call the shots, but at the end of the day the onus is on the viewer to let them know the deal. BET is that ignorant ish we like. , point blank. This is the same network that aired religious **PAID** programming right after Uncut. (Or so I’ve heard…eh hem) They’d be better off calling it Green Entertainment Television. We hate to admit, but we all watched all three season of the Flavor of Love. We may have been cursing the name of the producers at VH-1, but we watched. I think the only decent African American programming is TV One, and I think there are more people in America with polio than with access to TV One.

  8. TVOne is cool. They play Martin, Roc, and Living Single re-runs. They also had a celebrity bid-wist party throwdown show that I caught a couple times.

    I just think people need to be made aware that BET isn’t the only choice. TVOne is relatively new. It’ll pick up some steam.. it depends if they wanna reach the younger crowd or not. (which they currently don’t, given their programming).

  9. Vanessa aka Miss V

    i agree… BET is definitely not the vision right now. i hardly watch the channel… if I need to watch foolishness, I just turn on VH1 or MTV.

    the only shows I like are 106 & Park and Hell Date (which is really funny!). otherwise, i give up the channel..

  10. Sowhatiff Jenkins

    The minute I turn to BET (exception: when they are running “A Different World”), I feel my IQ drop. My blood pressure rises, and I feel myself getting snatched into the ignant cycle to which Seattle refers.

    The station has sold out to Viacom, thus allowing “the man” to dictate what trash gets put on the airwaves and labeled as for and about black people. Hogwash I say.

  11. whatever's clever

    Ok guys, lets put the pitchforks down, stop pelleting rocks at Debra Lee’s window and comparing Bob Johnson to Clarence Thomas. Lets be real, similar to Hip Hop (or whatever it is they are selling these days) , BET just needs a better balance. I mean yes, I get it, for the educated Black person BET could be like putting your brain in a blender but for the most part, a lot of people enjoy it.

  12. Before BET lemme say this: The History channel does have new programming year round, in the spring they had the axe men series, then the summer they showed their 2nd season of ice road truckers, now for the fall they have the show on NYC sandhogs and also one of their their “disaster” show was on the money, it was a about midwest to which I was like yea all right in the year 405o…what do you know there was a earthquake this yr in the midwest.

    Then theres the NatGeo channel thats a damn good channel, from Life with out People, to the shows on just how they build all kinds of complex machinery its very engrossing.

    As for BET..I dont watch it at all, havent since 1998. HBO is my channel, and besides the aforementioned channels outside of the sports networks and the Simpsons I dont watch “regular TV”.

    Todays sitcoms are BORING and so is reality TV (that includes ANYTHING from Flavor of fact the opening credits of the Sorpranos and a breif scene from ANY ep of The Wire is better than FOL entire catalouge).

    I dont knock what outs there just cant see why at 32 what would I get from BET, videos..uh the Internet any one, whats hot in music? Once again have we heard about the internet and those file sharing sites? As for the dreck on your tube…you do have a remote…use it, cuz I do that logical when you dont like something…ignore it. Try it, it might work… see-notice how I dont get all into the emotion of how crappy of a network they are…and I interviewed for them!

  13. “I mean yes, I get it, for the educated Black person BET could be like putting your brain in a blender but for the most part, a lot of people enjoy it.”

    Most things are okay in moderation. The same can be said for BET. I still say they need to take “Black” out of the name. I seriously think that’s what makes the “educated Black person” a bit annoyed whether consciously or subconsciously.

  14. Seattle Washington

    I don’t think it’s about moderation or balance. BET needs to be revamped. Like any other organization, they need to get out the old folks who are ingrained with the coonery and get some new folks in there to make it evolve and surpass.

    … Hmm. I might just apply and wreck shop.

  15. And then get a pink slip

  16. yeah, you saw the boondocks episode…

  17. all have to say is, in the immortal words of Howard Beale (“Network”, 1976) *at my window, sticking my head out and yelling*:

    “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!”

    Something’s gotta change…

  18. Let me break it down.

    BET is run by young people. Reginald Hudlin is now running things and he was behind The House Party flikcs. Stephen Hill is still there he’s not in his 50’s (or maybe he just got) so yea there are young ppl there its the financial model you want changed and this is a point most outside of TV/film dont get all the way.

    BET’s model is reduce cost at all cost-thats why they never put an office in NYC until VIACOM bought it out (BTW every network from CNN to the FOOD network is here but BET took twenty yrs and to move about 120 miles. They never had any loyalty to the District, no it was rather if so and so in NY needs to be interviewed get the cam op and reporter on a train to NY or vice versa. Next they sought to reduce overhead that means NO ORGINAL PROGRAMMING cuz you know the “above the line and below the line” ppl got kids and bills to pay, and you have to pay for studio space in either Cali or NY. Instead they took that would be salary and lease money bought syndicated programming. People this is the model that allowed BJ to sell it for I think 6 billy can you do better? Well Sumner Redstone doesnt think so thats why after getting it he did NOTHING. If the dogs keep showing up to eat these leftovers why even clean the bowl?

  19. Yeah first thing that came to mind after reading this post were the two Boondocks episodes talking about BET.

    BET pisses me off on all kinds of levels, but especially with the ‘awards shows’ that they hold. Their like ‘coon’ versions of other television network award shows.

    They think they’re doing thing uniquely different to the black culture, but really, they just play into gross stereotypes that do nothing but hurt our perception to the rest of society.

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