*****UPDATED******Due to the overwhelming response we heard from our readers and viewers because of the Michael Jackson Tribute at the 2009 BET Awards, and due to the major uproar being steered towards the network, we reached out to BET for a response- and got one from a very high level executive at BET.
If you have not heard by now, an open letter was written to the network by Director and Activist Byron Hurt, and it has been posted to several major websites. Hurt, the letter’s author, complained about many things, from the performances, specifically Lil’ Wayne’s to much more. He states in his letter that “it’s sad and unfortunate that your network, owned by Viacom, continues to crank out mediocrity and perpetuate negative stereotypes of black men, women, and children.” The letter has continued to circulate around the internet, and finally has garnered a response from the Executive who wishes to remain anonymous.
The Exec does address many concerns that you have emailed us about, and first and foremost he responds to the lack of attendance from certain people who were not present for the BET Awards, which was supposed to be a tribute to Michael Jackson who passed away two days earlier. He States, “Berry Gordy, Diana Ross... Too distraught to make live public appearances. Usher, Omarion, Justin (Timberlake)... All in Europe. At the end of the day, not everyone can adjust their schedules or emotions. HOWEVER it should be noted that we (BET) did NOT call Janet (Jackson) to participate; we respected their call for privacy. Her folks called us and we are honored... and are proud to say that the family enjoyed our upbeat, humorous, heartfelt tribute. THAT'S what matters.”
On the performances, especially Lil Wayne’s, the Exec continues on by saying, “… We appreciate the support of folks and are proud to have done this show, and pay tribute to Michael Jackson AND salute regular folks doing super-regular things; The 3 doctors from Newark... Mayor James Young from Philadelphia, MS, and the folks from Food From The Hood who are growing and selling their own vegetables... And making money for their college education. There was really so much positive in this show that I wish folks would focus on. If it helps, we fully admit the girls on Young Money was unplanned and regrettable. Wayne's heart was in the right place (trying to please his daughter) even if the execution wasn't.”
It should also be noted that the Executive has assured us that BET has plans to produce a show dedicated to Michael Jackson in the very near future.
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