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.”

Nov 26

Music Matters Daily: K. Michelle Strips Down for New Album

Plus, Jessie J and Ariana Grande won’t remake song.

Nov 26

‘Penguins’ swamped by blizzard of puns – Santa Rosa Press Liberal

It™s difficult to go wrong with penguins.

They can be elegant and emotionally engaging in real life, as the Oscar-winning documented œMarch of the Penguins” beautifully taken. They can also be toe-tapping hysterical and wildly musical, as they proved within the animated hit œHappy Feet. ”

So how did œPenguins of Madagascar” run… afoul?

Assault with unlucky turns of phrase like that, I would say. The pun is a weapon for œPenguins™” writers. Not a sharpshooter rifle, but a machine weapon that unloads a nonstop quip barrage, mowing down the real guarantee of this 3-D animation action comedy.

For many, there will be sufficient reward to offset the risk, but do consider a flak jacket.

On the plus side, the particular central characters ” Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller) and Rico (Conrad Vernon) ” are usually proven comedy troopers. Already popular in the œMadagascar” films and their own TV series, a movie spinoff must have appeared a no-brainer.

A good adorable baby penguin chick (Christopher Knights) has been added to the blend. Keeping up the military precision with which these particular bird buddies operate, he™s dubbed Private. And he™s obtained major cuteness powers, which he can, if necessary, use, so watch out.

There is an elite black-ops group, the North Wind, fighting exactly the same good fight as the covert penguins. The result: wire-crossing complications and the film™s most extensively animated action scenes. The Wind is led with the appropriately arrogant gray wolf real estate agent named Classified, voiced with a lot of brio by Benedict Cumberbatch.

The villain, Dave, the. k. a. Dr . Octavius Brine, is a purple octopus with a bruised ego and brilliantly brought to living in one of those great arranged relationships between animation creativity and voice agility ” in this case John Malkovich providing the verbal theatrics.

But œPenguins associated with Madagascar” is a surprising slip for your studio, which usually has its animation ducks in a row ” or even dragons, or pandas, or Shreks. Penguins should have made the selection.

Nov 25

Paris Barclay on Sons of Anarchy and Racial Stereotypes

The Emmy award-winning director talks the hit series.

Nov 24

Health Rewind: Flu Season Off to Slow Start

Plus, Sierra Leonean doc treated for Ebola in Omaha dies.

Nov 21

Fall Harvest: What’s Fresh This Season

These flavorful fruits and veggies are ripe for the picking!

Nov 21

The Queen Latifah Show Gets Canceled

The mogul’s chat fest ends after two seasons.

Nov 21

Instagram Photos of the Week: Lil Betty and Remy Ma Unite

Plus photos of Kim Kardashian, Solange, and more.

Nov 21

Within 2001 Study, Black Celebrities Evaluated Harshly in Rape Cases – Pacific Standard

When accused of rape, black celebrities were viewed a lot more negatively than non-celebrities. The opposite has been true of whites.

Competition. Celebrity. Sexual assault. Given the fact it touches upon all of those hot-button topics, it™s no surprise that the swirl of rape allegations against Costs Cosby has mesmerized so many Us citizens.

But as Cosby™s career collapses, it™s worth being attentive to a 2001 study that focused on that will same combustible combination, and created some disturbing results.

For black defendants accused associated with rape, œbeing a celebrity was a legal responsibility, ” the researchers write in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology. In contrast, they found fame “had distinct advantages for white defendants. ”

When charged along with sexual assault, œBlack celebrities were perceived more negatively than were black non-celebrities, ” according to Southwestern University psychologists Jennifer Knight, Traci Guiliano , and Monica Sanchez-Ross, œwhereas white celebrities were viewed more positively than were white non-celebrities. ”

“Although participants preferred to punish white celebrities and white non-celebrities about equally, they tended to prefer harsher punishments designed for black celebrities than for black non-celebrities. ”

The research featured 71 white college undergraduates, who read one of four imaginary newspaper accounts of a reported rape. œIn these accounts, the accused rapist was described as either a black celebrity, a white celebrity, a black non-celebrity, or a white non-celebrity, ” the researchers write.

The celebrities mentioned in the fake news stories were white actors Mel Gibson, George Clooney, and Harrison Ford, and black stars Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Danny Glover. They were chosen because all six had similar ratings on an earlier study of appeal, fame, and likeability.

The non-celebrities were described as profitable actors who had not achieved fame. In his version of the news story, readers learned that the fictional black acting professional accused of rape, Jason Jones, œfrequently appears on BET (Black Entertainment Television), ” while these people read the fictional white actor has been often on the E! channel.

After reading the account, in which a flight attendant accuses the man of rape and he claims the particular sex was consensual, participants ranked on a one-to-seven scale the reliability of the accuser and defendant, and their level of responsibility for the evening™s events.

They also gave their opinions regarding œthe probability that the defendant would be found accountable, the extent to which the defendant should be punished if found accountable, and the probability that the victim obtained some enjoyment from the act. ”

The researchers found a œconspicuous trend” in the outcomes. œAlthough participants preferred to punish white celebrities and white non-celebrities about equally, they tended to prefer harsher punishments for black celebrities than for black non-celebrities, ” they write.

In addition , œblack celebrities were judged to be less credible than were black non-celebrities, whereas white celebrities were perceived to be marginally a lot more credible than white non-celebrities, ” they add.

The particular researchers argue these results might reflect œ aversive racism , ” which they call œa subtle form of prejudice (that) emerges when people feel free to express themselves, and especially when they feel they can justify their feelings. ”

œIt seems plausible that white jurors judging rape cases might rationalize their own harsh treatment toward black celebrities as being due to the rape, and not due to the defendant™s race or social standing, ” the researchers write.

œGiven this rationalization, severe legal treatment of black celebrities can be justified (in one™s mind) since appropriate and fair, rather than hurtful. ”

It™s necessary to note that the 2001 study, which featured a relatively small number of participants, does not prove this thesis. What’s a lot more, its single-case vignette is not similar to the Cosby allegations, which have been made by multiple women.

Even so, the results are worth keeping in mind when you attempt to assess the comedian™s guilt or even innocence. This research suggests that, regardless of the facts may be, white people will not give accused black celebrities the benefit of the doubt.

Nov 20

Three in 10 Americans Have Diabetes and Don’t Know It

Eight million people are undiagnosed for “the sugar.”

Nov 19

Cosby Inc. in Peril as Strike Accusations Stall Comeback – Bloomberg

At the rear of his affable exterior and
designed sweaters, Bill Cosby built an enjoyment empire
that earned him greater than $400 million.

Now the 77-year-old comedian plus actor is under siege from
sexual assault allegations that imperil future earnings from new
tasks, public speaking and endorsements that could complete
millions of dollars a year. Cosby hasn’t faced any prosecution
tied to allegations dating back to decades. He settled a lawsuit
brought by one accuser, Andrea Constand, in 2006.

The latest accusations torpedoed an attempted comeback for
a comedian who spent decades cultivating a squeaky clean picture
and chiding others to act. NBC said today that it was
withdrawing from a sitcom in development along with Cosby, and Netflix
Inc. (NFLX)
shelved a stand-up comedy special this planned to run the day
after Thanksgiving holiday.

“He was your Peyton Manning of his generation, ” said Jason
Maloni, head of sports and entertainment at Levick, a public
relations firm in Washington that specializes in crisis
. “Companies loved him. He was a home run when it
came to endorsing products. That is certainly not again going to be. ”

While Cosby’s maximum earning years are behind him, he was
making appearances in front of the debut of the Netflix stand-up
comedy special, and for a recent loan of art to the Smithsonian
Museum of African Art. As a sign of how swiftly publicity has
engulfed him, his website featured at its top yesterday a
statement from his lawyer about the allegations.

‘Cosby Show’

Cosby declined to remark about the allegations in an
interview along with National Public Radio that aired on Nov. 15, and
has terminated other public appearances.

“Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited
allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced, ” his lawyer,
John P. Schmitt, said within a Nov. 16 statement. “The fact that
they are being repeated does not get them to true. Mr. Cosby does
not really intend to dignify these allegations along with any comment. ”

A new declaration was posted to clarify that the lawyer’s
comments did not refer to Constand, whose 2005 legal action against
Cosby was settled. The girl claimed to have located at least 10 other
alleged victims of lovemaking assault by Cosby.

Many of Cosby’s television shows, which includes “Fat Albert
and the Cosby Kids, ” still air. Most visible are reruns of
“The Cosby Show, ” which led the particular ratings for four years in the

“Cosby” earned tens of millions of dollars annually meant for
the entertainer. In 1992, the year it concluded, Forbes
estimated his net worth exceeded $300 mil.

New Accusers

The display, produced by Carsey-Werner Television, continues
to run on two Viacom Inc. (VIAB) wire networks and Hulu Plus,
generating fees for Cosby and his partners, though it is
unlikely to method the $15 million-plus “I Love Lucy”
produces for CBS Corp. (CBS) each year.

Work Creek Entertainment acquired the DVD rights to “The
Cosby Show” last year and re-released seasons a single through four.
The company charges $14. 98 for a DVD of seasons one and two

Viacom officials known inquiries to representatives from
Centric, a channel spun off from Black Entertainment Television,
and TV Land. They didn’t respond to requests meant for comment, nor
did officials on Carsey-Werner in Los Angeles.

“We’re monitoring the situation closely at this point
before making any scheduling decisions, ” said Jim Weiss, a
spokesman for the Atlanta-based Bounce TV, a broadcast network
aimed at African Americans that airs “Fat Albert. ”

Netflix and NBC acted after allegations resurfaced that
Cosby drugged and sexually attacked women more than a decade

Time Element

“My client says which he is in agreement with Netflix, ”
David Brokaw, a spokesman meant for Cosby, said in an e-mail
recently. Brokaw didn’t respond to a follow-up requests for
comment about Dickinson’s allegations or the decision by NBC,
owned by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)

Comedian Hannibal Buress last month called Cosby a rapist
onstage, and Barbara Bowman published a Washington Post op-ed
last week duplicating past accusations Cosby raped the girl when she
was a 17-year-old aspiring actress. A new accuser, Joan Tarshis,
came forward on Nov. sixteen, writing on the entertainment site
Hollywood Somewhere else about an alleged incident in 1969. Another
woman, model Janice Dickinson, told Entertainment Tonight the lady
was sexually assaulted by Cosby in 1982.

The age of the allegations of lovemaking assault and rape make
any kind of prosecution unlikely because they are both period barred by
the so-called statute of limitations, and the claims would be
hard to verify after all this time, lawful experts said.

Lawsuit Potential

“You’re talking about claims of lovemaking misconduct that
happened 20 or 30 years ago, ” said Bennett T. Gershman, a
professor at Pace Law School in White Plains , New York , and a
former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
“These are just very very difficult accusations to prove. ”

Investigators looking into older accusations tend to wonder
whether the incident in fact happened and why the person did not
report it immediately, Gershman said.

Women who also might sue Cosby over the claimed attacks would
face similar obstacles with jurors, he said.

Notwithstanding all the mass media attention to the women’s
claims, damage to Cosby’s reputation may be the worst injury he
suffers from all the furor.

“It’s been dogging him for a long time; it will continue
to, ” Gershman said. “It certainly is in the public mind going
to sully whatever reputation he has in terms of his character,
but I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere legitimately. ”

To make contact with the reporters on this story:
Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg. net ;
Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg. net ;
Chris Dolmetsch in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan at

cdolmetsch@bloomberg. net

To contact the particular editors responsible for this story:
Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg. net ;
Michael Hytha on mhytha@bloomberg. net
Rob Golum

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