Aug 27

The History of BET

Black Entertainment Television (BET), headquartered in Washington, D.C. and currently operates under the VIACOM umbrella.   With more than 90 million homes watching worldwide, it is the well-known station targeting African-American viewers.  It is also a leading provider of black American cultural and entertainment based programming, both of original creations, acquired properties and musical presentations.

After stepping down as a lobbyist for the cable industry, Freeport, Illinois native Robert L. Johnson decided to launch his own cable television network. Johnson would soon acquire a loan for $15,000, and earned a $500,000 investment from media executive John Malone to start the network.[3] The network, which was named Black Entertainment Television, launched on January 25, 1980.[4] Initially broadcasting for two hours a week as a block of programming on Nickelodeon (it would not be until 1983 that BET became a full-fledged channel), the network’s lineup consisted of music videos and reruns of popular black sitcoms.  (from Wikipedia)

BET has gained popularity with its’ vast black audience, but has faced a number of major African Americans critics such as syndicated columnist George Curry, cartoonist and television producer Aaron McGruder, movie director  and producer Spike Lee, and former Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins. These critics and others denounced BET’s programming, claiming it promoted sexism and anti-intellectualism.

They also argued that showing rap and hip hop-oriented programming along with comedy programs either intentionally or inadvertently promoted anti-black stereotypes. BET founder Richard Johnson and Viacom executives claimed they were providing the programming the market demanded. In 2008 a number of prominent black ministers (“Enough is Enough”) publicly protested BET programming choices outside the network’s headquarters.

Enough is Enough supported a 2008 report “The Rap on Rap” by the Parents Television Council that argued that BET’s rap programming, which they believed contained gratuitous sexual, violent and profane content, was targeting children and teens.

The controversy continued in 2010, when BET co-founder Sheila Johnson said she is “ashamed” of what the network has become. “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don’t watch it,” she said. “When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television. We had public affairs programming. We had news.

The criticism has not impacted the growth and acceptance of BET and the various shows and programs they have created.  In 2013, it is reported that 79.82% of households with television receive the BET network.  However, there is no information available as to what percentage of those households chose to get the network, or receive the network as part of a larger cable package.

According to the sales material, “BET provides contemporary entertainment that speaks to young Black adults from an authentic, unapologetic viewpoint of the Black experience. BET connects with its target audience in a way no other media outlet can providing hit music, entertainment and news programming that is reflective of their experiences.  Our outstanding mega-specials keep viewers regularly tuned in for the latest and greatest in Black entertainment.”

Sep 30

Bob Brown Calls Harvey Levin The particular Devil

September 30th, 2014

harvey-levin-out-to-destroy-chris-brown

Chris Brown says TMZ and their head mascot Harvey Levin have been trying to damage his career for years.

Chris Brown went on to say that Harvey Levin is a short unhappy man who spreads negativity.

chris-brown-vs-harvey-levin

One Response to “Chris Brownish Calls Harvey Levin The Devil”

  1. Anonymous |

    Chris heard the call from hsk readers.

    [ Reply ]

Sep 29

Almost 14 Percent of Young Black Women Have Chlamydia



Plus, fewer than half of Americans get flu shots.

Sep 28

“Can a TV Show Save Lives? ” – The Atlantic

A writer for Amazon’s Transparent describes her own struggles with gender identify and storytelling, and the show’s responsibility to portray transgender individuals in their fullness.

Amazon Studios

I used to be born in 1971, and emerged of age watching soap operas. This was pre-Internet, before gay marriage was even a thought, when homosexuality was still a mental disorder within the DSM. When I remember back, the only real images I can recall of LGBT people on TV involved people who were white and showed up only to suspend themselves, or be runaway hustlers, or die slowly of HELPS, with their mothers crying at their own bedside and their fathers brooding silently in hospital hallways.

I™ve been writing and posting for over 25 years and long ago I bitterly œaccepted” I™d never earn a living solely as a writer. I hadn™t even made one-hundredth of my living as a writer, yet I trudged on with my little stories, all but sewing them directly into booklets in my bedroom à la Emily Dickinson.


When I do get the rare opportunity to be compensated well for my writing, I had formed to completely edit out my life like a butch dyke to make it palatable/publishable to the outside world”or so was the expectation of nervous editors. And after so many years of just doing my own matter, I just trudged on, writing my novels and hosting an annual writers™ retreat in Mexico with RADAR Productions, a San Francisco literary non-profit. I met Transparent creator Jill Soloway when she attended one year.

I™d observed Jill a few times at readings and then but I had no idea she was even familiar with my work. So I was surprised and excited whenever she wrote to me and said, œHave you ever thought of composing for TV? ”

Why, no I hadn™t. I was entering my seventh year as a cashier at a grocery co-op because after many different work and life configurations the co-op best suited my life as a writer. This gave my girlfriend and me health insurance and allowed me the most freedom to travel when I needed to.

œThere™s like four shows coming out with trans content this year, ” Jill said, when she first contacted me. One of those shows was her development, Transparent, a dramedy that centers close to an affluent Los Angeles family and their own lives following the discovery that their own father, whom they™d known as Mort, is a transgender woman named Maura.

I desired to get it right, and acknowledged the dangers of a bad representation. I™ve lived a good part of my life within a gender-nonconforming body. As a butch that is constantly misgendered and regendered during the day by strangers, I have some all terain with a trans experience”especially when it comes to using public restrooms, navigating airports, obtaining wanded by security detail on entering a sporting event. So I felt like I could use my encounter to add to the conversation.

I™d never counted how many of my friends were trans, because why would I, they were just my friends. Plus my friends™ histories were since diverse as the breadth of genderqueer and trans™ characters on the show: trans men, trans women. On bodily hormones. Not on hormones. Electing surgeries or not. Early, middle, and late transitioners. Concerned with passing or not passing. And while Jill is not trans himself, I knew she was personally invested in trans visibility, as her parent had recently come out to her as transgender. Plus, the time was right: Laverne Cox™s character, Sophia Burset, on Fruit Is the New Black had set a new precedent intended for respectable depictions of transgender heroes on TV.

When i sat in the writers™ room, it was apparent right away that Jill was committed to telling a trans story with integrity. Trans artists Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker acted since consultants for the show. We furthermore had other trans folks visit the room to help us get it correct; including Ian Harvie, Jenny Boylan, and Van Barnes.

Jill Soloway informed the writers to think about what we™d never seen on TV before yet wanted to.

I™d lived long enough to see the never-seen gays(i think they are sick) and lesbians on TV, now peppering every show, but these œgay” heroes often felt dispersed as a kind of diabolical diversity seasoning salt. I have never seen anyone who looked like me represented on TV, but thanks to Jill allowing the writers to have several cameos, I will appear as a butch security guard named Tiffany. Consider that!

Jill Soloway said during the last week of shooting that the world most likely needs a trans 101 show which Transparent is more like trans 507. This isn™t a show that spoon nourishes the definition of trans to the target audience. Instead, we present a spectrum of trans characters to choose from: a butch, a transman, two transwomen, and Maura, a transwoman at the beginning of her transition who may or even may not œmedically” transition. I knew besides Sophia Burcet, the trans community had only seen themselves pictured as victims or even villains .

We were committed to doing so much more.

Can a TV show save lives? Can cisgender actor Jeffrey Tambor be enough of the first stepping stone for transwomen who™ve waited forever for any kind of representation? Could a transphobe someplace see this show and really feel something shift? With four new shows with trans content, will certainly cisgender people pepper their scripts with trans characters to sell scripts? The thought of that makes me want to crawl back in bed.


From day one, I realized I had a unique responsibility like a queer, gender-nonconforming writer working on a big television show. I owe it to a community. I hope that this show cannot only give trans people optimistic visibility that will therefore make them safer in the bigger world, and more employable, and able to walk through the roads without the terror of violence. I want for trans people what I need for everyone: a fair living wage, medical care, the absence of loneliness, freedom from addiction, a lemon tree within the front yard, and a TV show that they really like to watch.

Sep 27

Chelsea Clinton Welcomes a Baby Girl



It’s the first child for the former First Daughter.

Sep 26

Exclusive Access: Snootie Wild & K Camp



The rappers tag team 106 with Snootie Wild’s hit “Made Me.”

Sep 26

Kendrick Lamar: I’m Making Statements Not Singles



TDE artist reveals more about creating his sophomore LP.

Sep 24

Ebola Epidemic Could Reach 1.4 Million by Early 2015



The CDC’s predictions for this deadly virus are grim.

Sep 24

Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua on Police Brutality



Plus, details on The Equalizer.

Sep 23

Health Law Enrollment Now 7.3 Million



Are you enrolling in the marketplace this fall?

Sep 22

Music Matters Daily: Dom Kennedy, Curren$y Open #Source360



Plus Jessie J previews a new song with 2 Chainz.

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