Every year, the BET Awards come and go, and every year, my comrade Chad Quinn and I, for whatever optimistic reason, have an expectation that BET will get it right — by producing a show that inspires us all to strive for greatness. Tragically, every year, including this one, the BET Awards fall short of achieving those goals. We were going to let another year go by where we simply preached to each other and our respective choirs, but a tweet by June Ambrose, stylist to the stars, which said, “Big shout out to @StephenGHill for putting together an amazing awards show! Black Excellence! #BETAwards XO” sent me, and apparently Chad, to a place of concern. Is this really Black Excellence? Is this the absolute best we can do? Very quickly, we decided that we can do better, a lot better.
Note: This is not an attack on June Ambrose; everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. This list was not made to make a mockery of BET. Corporate America already does that so well on so many levels. Finally, this was not to bash Stephen G. Hill. We’ve never put on an award show, not even a school play, so the fact that he’s achieved that accomplishment multiple times deserves a major salute. However, this list was constructed because we feel there are a number of people who believe BET can raise the bar of this awards show in myriad ways.
Below are a few, well, 10 gripes and solutions to issues that disturb, exhaust, and, at times, make us sick and tired of being sick and tired of watching an award show that’s hype never lives up to its past themes or current slogan, which is “We Got You.” We present to you the 10 Things We Hate About the BET Awards.
1. The Standard – Let’s Act Like We Care
Issue: Compared to the variety of music awards shows (Grammys, Billboard, American), how much weight does a BET award really hold? What started out as an awards show with the objective to highlight and celebrate the talents the aforementioned music awards overlooked, has turned into nothing more than a celebration of the celebrity and not the music. There’s no reason we should get overzealous because Jay-Z and Beyoncé decide to grace us with their presence.
Solution: Establish a dress code. The BET Awards shouldn’t look like the BET Hip-Hop Awards. There has to be a level of differentiation. This should be a black-tie affair. There’s no reason Sean Carter should have on a suit while Busta Rhymes is rocking a tank top, looking like he just came from my uncle’s 4th of July barbecue. Formal attire demands and exudes respect and would immediately raise the etiquette, appearance, and value of this important celebration.