Last summer, things heated up unexpectedly between popular transgender blogger B. Scott and BET after Scott filed a lawsuit against the cable channel, claiming that they forced him to change out of his feminine outfit into something more masculine as he hosted the pre-show for the BET Awards. At the time of the scandal, BET claimed that it was just a simple misunderstanding that led to the fashion fiasco. But now new evidence shows that BET had always planned to force B. Scott to appear more butch for the cameras.
During the pre-show, B. Scott appeared in the initial segment wearing a long, flowing tunic, makeup and heels. But after that first segment, BET quickly pulled him from the air and forced him to pull his hair back, take off much of his makeup and put on a men’s blazer and loafers before they eventually put him back on air.
According to TMZ, court documents show that although aware that B. Scott had always been androgynous and feminine in style, BET president Stephen Hill had always wanted the blogger to dress more masculine.
“I don’t want ‘looking like a woman B Scott.’ I want tempered B Scott,” wrote Hill in a pointed email.
Network VP Rhonda Cowan later replied, “I can speak to him about being less ‘womanly.’ ”
However, it appears that Hill’s unreasonable request was never brought up to B. Scott who, at the time of the incident, claimed that BET had approved his original look and said that he was blindsided by their request for him to change clothes.
And BET apparently knew that they had a media disaster on their hands as BET producer Stephanie Hodges wrote an email shortly after the broadcast, confessing, “He got upset and said he was going to blow this s— up and call GLAAD.”
Emails between BET staff members show that the cable channel then tried to cover up their discrimination by fabricating accusations about B. Scott being late
“The spin should be he was late for a live show and subsequently replaced and it would have been awkward in a live show to have the person assuming his role removed and him inserted.” BET executive Monique Ware wrote.
BET execs also claimed in other emails and text messages that B. Scott was late, rude and had been drinking before the pre-show. They also claim that his garments were not approved for the show.
We have to say these emails reek of foul play, transphobia and effemiphobia. It’s clear that Hill had an issue with B. Scott’s femininity and If B. Scott had been a drunk and unruly host, then why didn’t BET just say that from the beginning?
It’s unfortunate that BET, who claimed after the incident that they “embrace global diversity,” has shown that a cable channel born out of the need to showcase the talents of the underserved and overlooked black community subscribes to ideologies that would leave other minorities out in the cold for the sake of archaic gender norms. –nicholas robinson