Black Entertainment Television
United States of America

BET is not run by a black man any longer and it shows. Now it glamorizes or sensationalizes activities that are criminal, degrading, sexist, stereotypical, or predjudice. The dumbest rap artists in the world are endorsing nothing but butt naked booty, "hoes", money and obnoxiously unnecessary expensive jewelry! The rap songs now have "elementary hooks and verses" and the message is the exact same in every video.

That message is "sell your soul for money push drugs on the streets and treat your sisters like crap and you will get to live comfortable like me, even though those same rappers are really broke, the platinum chain is borrowed (or fake) and, posing next to rented cars.

Not every black person likes to go to the club, not all of us are materialistic, some of us do have the ability to love our men & women. We aren't just entertainers. Still, we do not see this balance reflected on BET anymore. This causes a problem because it's mainly young people who watch the channel. What are we telling our young people about what it means to be a black male or female? Where are their positive role models? Not on Black Entertainment Television the one place that they should be able to find it. I, as a mother of two daughters and one son, will not allow my children to watch ANYTHING that airs on BET but, why does it have to be this way? Before Viacom bought BET from Johnson (a black man) We had Tavis Smiley. We had Teen Summit. We had positive black artists that I would have been happy to turn on the tv to and say to my children "see"! This is what you are! Can you say the same thing today? Would you turn on BET at anytime of the day and sit your young child down in front of it and say "Look, this is what you are and what you can become?" Now BET is putting out the message to our youngest and most impressionable, our future..That we are criminals, thugs, ignorant, entertainment. I don't want my children or any black child to believe that's what they are.

Imagine turning on your television and not having to worry about what the children are watching, knowing that the channel is positive and educational. Even better, the channel could be uplifting and even help you and that child learn a little about yourself and your culture. Wow, what a wish. Eventually, someone thought of that very thing and created a TV network called BET. While it was getting started, it was something to be proud of. It celebrated us as a people, educated us with talk forums and news geared toward what was relevant to us.

Real talent was discovered and our movies were celebrated. Even our music was spotlighted as we watched shows like Video Soul and Video Vibrations hosted by talent that actually spoke in full and complete sentences.

Many prominent media critics, including Public Enemy rapper Chuck D, journalist George Curry, Howard University, writer Keith Boykin, comic book writer/artist/editor Christopher Priest, filmmaker Spike Lee and writer/cartoonist Aaron McGruder of The Boondocks, have protested BET's programming and actions.

One of the most commonly-heard complaints is the fact that BET's programming is mostly music entertainment, particularly Hip-hop and rap music, and does not focus on the public affairs of the black community. This criticism expanded in the light of Viacom's cutbacks of BET's public affairs department, which resulted in the firing of BET Tonight talk show host and social commentator Tavis Smiley in March 2001, and the cancelations of the youth panel forum Teen Summit and morning news broadcast Lead Story in 2002. Black Exploitation Television!

We, the undersigned, call on Black Entertainment Television and Viacom, to eliminate the negative stereotypes and images that are protrayed everyday on this network. Either change the images to something that portrays ACTUAL black people and music that they can relate to. Show images that are apporpiate for children and their parents to view together.

Stop degrading black women and men and understand as "Black Entertainment Television" you have a certain standerd to adhere to. You do have someone to answer to. The black community. That realizes that they are more than "bitches, drug dealers, ho's, pimps, or "just a piece of ass."

And furthermore we want to show our offspring that we are much more and have always been. No matter what Viacom or other white owned corparations may think.

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The Change BET petition to Black Entertainment Television was written by Aja and is in the category Television at GoPetition.