Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Do We Criticize Jill Scott Who Never Seems To Miss A BET Event?

I love Jill Scott. I love her look, her way about accepting herself as she is. I love her music, how she bares her soul on wax. What I do not love is her endless support of BET. She never seems to miss an event or an awards show. Yes, she spoke out against BET Uncut years back and she has made statements against sexism in hip hop, but when stars like her continue to support BET, they have absolutely no incentive to clean up that network at all.

And many black folks love to complain about BET, but are quiet as church about our favorite stars that continue to flock to BET dinners, events, and shows, every time BET CEO Debra Lee snaps her wicked little fingers. What is up with that?

I would love to see a complete blackout of the next BET awards show that is televised. Yet, it seems impossible, for all the black folks that claim up and down to no longer watch BET, can rattle off every guest that appeared on past shows, so it seems unlikely the average black person can resist watching that crap. I have never watched a BET awards show and I don't intend to start now, can you say the same?


Sumayyah June 24, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

I'm with you on this one! I haven't watched BET, for awards shows or otherwise, in YEARS. Since I don't watch BET anymore, I don't know which of my favorite stars support them. I DO know that I am clueless when it comes to some of those up and coming "stars." Shame on the stars that support BET, especially if they make music/comedy/entertainment of a higher caliber.

achoiceofweapons June 24, 2008 at 10:57 AM  

When an Artist attends an event hosted by anyone, most times, it's just business! BET plays her videos, provides an outlet to promote her albums, movies and products and it would be the same if she went on Wendy Williams or The View! All and anyone of these other venues for example have been offensive or are offensive including Oprah but still an artist can seldom choose who to single out. That venue would have to be majorly offensive or the artist would have to have an issue that they want to bring to light!

Naima June 24, 2008 at 11:07 AM  

Ok, I will admit I do watch The BET Awards and the A Different World reruns once in awhile. I only watch the BET Awards b/c they always have a couple of performances from the old school and if it wasn't for those I would watch at all. I had no interest in this years awards until I heard Al Green would be there and even though he is before my time I can appreciate real talent coming from the old school. They just go on stage and sing, not out of breath, not off key.
I guess since BET is the only major channel geared toward black entertainment it is a must for black entertainers to show up b/c its one of their few outlets.

MusicLover June 24, 2008 at 11:50 AM  

Well, personally I only watch BET for A Different World reruns and the BET Awards. The other shows do not appeal to me. I think that Jill Scott and other R&B singers support BET because the network supported them by playing their videos. Also, BET produces the BETJ channel which is the exact opposite of the main channel and what people wish BET was. BETJ plays all the good real singers and you don't see on the main channel like Jill Scott, Ledisi, Raheem DeVaughn etc. The channel also shows independent black movies and has good original programming. By attending BET events they are also supporting BETJ, which is a channel that should stay around.

Anonymiss June 24, 2008 at 2:02 PM  

Prof. Tracey,
I see your point but Jill's a business woman at the end of the day.

MusicLover brings up a good point about artists perhaps cross-supporting BET J. I discovered artists on that channel that I would've never seen on the parent channel.

Professor Tracey June 24, 2008 at 2:09 PM  

Sorry folks, I hear you about business, but that is not a viable argument. Black folks can't whine about rappers, then excuse Jill Scott.

Black folks can't whine about the quality of BET and excuse this show or that show because it's business.

If that's the case, then all of BET is about business and we should shut up about it and accept BET just as it is.

faith June 24, 2008 at 3:21 PM  

I have written quite a few letters to Jill, Tyra and some of the other women who attend these events who also claim to be uplifting and positive. I do know that Jill has talked about struggling to maintain her career.

page June 24, 2008 at 3:21 PM  

I can count the times on one of my hands that I have seen a Jill scott video on BET (that was not played after midnight). iI must admit I have seen real poepl videos on one if the BET sub channels. Going to awards is business - got to take care of your business

focusedpurpose June 24, 2008 at 5:41 PM  

yes Professor Tracey i can say that i have never watched a BET award show. as a child i realized BET had no love for me---i found it difficult as a nappy haired dark skinned child to find myself anywhere on that network. i gave up and never looked back!

i have also reached out to black women entertainers that have in some instances walked past protesters to get into the events and support the network that makes a killing degrading, dehumanizing and criminalizing black folks. not only those offenses but also miseducating the world about who we are as a people. i have only received in return the sound of crickets...

black folks will do better when black folks DO better. not a moment sooner. either our humanity, dignity, and souls are for sale...or they are not. we cannot have it both ways and excuse the inexcusable.


MusicLover June 24, 2008 at 6:24 PM  

well professor tracey, BET as a network is all about business. the executives care about ratings, advertising and money. that's why i don't complain about it because it is a business concerned with what all businesses are about, profit. Yes they should practice social responsibility but not enough people are taking any direct action against BET that would hurt its profits enough to force them to change their programming.

Selena June 24, 2008 at 7:45 PM  

"Sorry folks, I hear you about business, but that is not a viable argument. Black folks can't whine about rappers, then excuse Jill Scott.

Black folks can't whine about the quality of BET and excuse this show or that show because it's business.

If that's the case, then all of BET is about business and we should shut up about it and accept BET just as it is."
YES PLEASE SAY THAT AGAIN!!! We do not watch BET nor do we watch their award shows in my home. Its been that way for a very long. My daughters are not into hip-hop music (thank God).

BET is nothing more than a pitiful caricature of itself from days long past. On top of that, their so-called awards show is nothing more than a minstrel show at best. I remember as a kid, my mother and father would let me stay up let on school nights to catch Black artist whenever they were on TV. You all know the ones I'm talking about so I won't go into a long list right now.

As far as BET given props to true talent, I don't know what the heck people are talking about. The last time I checked, word was that BET only showed degrading hip hop videos (or videos belonging to artists that paid BET to keep them on rotation). I heard that on MLK day BET played American Gangster marathons all day *SMH*.

For anyone that thinks showing up for a boot-leg awards show (namely BET)will make/break a celebrity's career, you're really misinformed LOL.

femmeautonome June 24, 2008 at 7:46 PM  

I never watched BET period. We were encouraged to do other things besides watch TV and my parents did not allow us to have cable. In college I had glimpses of it when a friend had it on, but all I know is that midnight love song show. The little else I saw of the channel was just not appealing.

I like Jill Scott, so I hope she finds a better way to get herself out there.

Randi523 June 25, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

I understand the argument here, but why single out Jill Scott?? As talented as she is, she has to struggle to keep her songs/albums in rotation, unfortunately. So maybe she feels that she should go to "connect", somehow...I wonder though, if she would have even gone if they didn't tap her to do the Al Green tribute??

I only watched the few minutes of the awards show b/c a friend called me and told me Maxwell was performing, so I had to watch! I didn't even watch Ne-Yo perform. I'm like a few of the other posters: I watch the channel only to watch A Different World. The minute the credits finish rolling on that, I CHANGE THE CHANNEL IMMEDIATELY.

Honestly, I didn't think the awards show would last this long...

Professor Tracey June 25, 2008 at 12:30 PM  

Hi Randi -

How is your summer going? I hope you are well!

I singled out Jill because of who her main audience is. She speaks to black women and we support her unconditionally. It's just like you and Maxwell, it hard to resist watching. I understand the temptation.

I watched American Gangster all season on BET with my mom long distance. It was wrong and supporting the hell out of BET, but I don't get to see my Mom as much as I like, so it was something that we love to do together.

I won't do it anymore, I'll wait for things to come out on DVD. BET stinks and we have to stop watching and supporting it. Buy A Different World on DVD! LOL!

Randi523 June 25, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

Hey Prof. Tracey:

Summer is HOT, but not as busy, thankfully!

I do agree: I do consider Jill to be a higher caliber artist (I love her; I really wish she could enjoy superstar success).

I was wondering if A Different World was on DVD-I'm going to check right now on Amazon! LOL

I think about my two female friends in particular that called me repeatedly about who was on the BET awards. These are forward-thinking, smart, sensible women, yet they watch this awards show without fail annually. I wonder what will it take for 'us' to stop supporting this channel until they step up??

Prodigy-Maestro June 26, 2008 at 2:29 AM  

maybe jill scott just isn't as bold as we like to think she is. . .

this was a interesting topic; nice blog

tasha212 June 26, 2008 at 1:41 PM  

I must confess that I watched the awards show, mainly because I was at a friend's house and she was watching it. I don't usually watch the channel, except to watch "A Different World" episodes.

Selena June 27, 2008 at 1:08 AM  

Let me tell you somethin' about black folks...

We might forget to be on time...

We might forget to pass down history....

We might forget to vote...

But, one thing we will never forget to do is COONIN'! EVER!!!

Words quoted from Clay Cane from his blog regarding this year's BET Awards. Please check out the image he posted next to T-Paine:


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