I stopped watching BET a long time ago (seriously, when I gave them up for good AJ & Free were still hosting 106 & Park). After hearing about B. Scott’s experience as the selected host of the BET Awards pre-show, I was validated, again. According to Scott:
“BET reached out to me to be the Style Stage Correspondent for the 2013 BET Awards 106 and Park Pre-Show…
The powers that be for this show wanted ‘B. Scott’…but not really. From the beginning, I wanted to make this work. I even tried to secure Chris Brown’s stylist to help me in putting together an appropriate ensemble. Unfortunately BET couldn’t afford him and instead sent over their own stylists to work with me.
After a few weeks of sending over mood boards and going over approved looks, we decided on a few options. All of which were generally more masculine than what I would wear if I were able to decide on my own. Blazers, long sleeved dress shirts, black pants, loafers.
We didn’t know at the time that Los Angeles would be in the middle of a record heat wave, and the options we selected just weren’t weather appropriate. The day before the show I spoke with BET’s style team and we agreed that it was okay to have a more weather appropriate ensemble option.
Not only was it agreed upon among the stylists, I met with a producer of the show the night before and showed her the ensemble. She said it was acceptable and requested I send over a picture so that she could forward it to whomever she needed to. The picture of the complete outfit was sent over and everything was fine. At all points during this process, everything I was going to wear or considering wearing was both discussed and approved…
…After rushing to make it to the red carpet in time, I was escorted by several members of production down to the stage. Everybody I spoke with commented on how fabulous I looked. There was never any indication that there was an issue. There was no pushback. I was simply there to do my job.
After interviewing AJ Calloway for my first segment I was literally yanked backstage and told that my look from head to toe ‘wasn’t acceptable.’
They asked me to pull my hair back, they asked me to change my attire.”
B. Scott is a beautiful, openly gay man, blogger, and vlogger who is infamous for his feminine look and sense of style. He is known around the internet for his bold personality and pop culture commentary. He was obviously a great choice for the show. I’m sure love muffins (fans of B. Scott) everywhere were rejoicing at his casting. But it almost didn’t happen. not only did they ask Scott to change his attire:
“I was returned to my trailer and forced to change into one of the other outfits while other producers waited outside. I changed quickly and returned to set, only to be told that I had been replaced by Adrienne Bailon and wouldn’t be going on at all.
I was hurt. I am hurt.“
So not only was B. Scott censored, he was almost fired. Luckily:
“…there were some internal phone calls made and as a result I was added back to the show.”
Although it sort of worked out for B. Scott – if being forced to change your appearance based on gender standards counts – the whole ordeal has folks wondering why they would book B. Scott only to water him down. BET is obviously holding on to those politics of respectability, which not only police women of color and their sexuality, but also the gender performance and sexuality of men.
In the case of BET who is attempting to appeal to a more diverse group, the message is clear: we welcome you, but stay in line. Unfortunately, this love muffin is not surprised and is not here for it.
Image via facebook.