BET’s President Explains Why She Doesn’t Offer More Positive Programming

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Last fall, BET’s President, Debra Lee, commented on the style of programming being offered by her network and the response from her viewers.   At the same time, Sheila Johnson, co-founder of BET, criticized the network for it’s offerings, stating that the company squandered a chance to give black America a voice.  Lee and Johnson’s remarks open the door for an intriguing dialogue about the power of media to shape minds, and whether or not we’ve been using this power responsibly.

In an article on TheRoot.com, Sheryl Huggins Solomon asked if black people really want to have a voice at all.  Her measuring stick of whether or not we want that voice appears to be related to our decision to watch the BET show hosted by TJ Holmes, “Don’t Sleep!”  I became immediately concerned with Sheryl’s column, because it seemed to argue that it’s the audience’s fault that BET has become determined to produce toxic programming.  Also, the idea of daring black people to support your event in order to prove their blackness is not much different from what Tavis Smiley did to President Obama back when he called him out for not attending his “State of the Black Union” event back in 2008.

At a screening for a new BET documentary, someone asked Lee if the network was going to aim for better programming, with Lee stating that, ”Over the 28 years I’ve been at BET, we’ve tried different shows, series and nightly news, and it’s always a matter of what are people going to show up to watch. We started a new show last week called Don’t Sleep! With T.J. Holmes, which is supposed to address these kinds of issues. It’s designed to be a mix of entertainment and news and commentary. We hoped it would have been a Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert-type show.”

Lee then went on to explain that the ratings game is what drives her to continue with content that is less than desirable:
“To be honest, the ratings haven’t been great in the past two weeks (referring to Holmes’ show).  Our audience always says they want this kind of programming, but they don’t show up,” Lee said.
 Here’s the challenge for Debra Lee.  First, when you consider the impact that positive programming is going to have on your audience, you have to realize what kind of audience you’ve created.  I can’t tell you how many educated black folks I’ve met who simply say, “I refuse to watch BET anymore.”  So, effectively, a disproportionate chunk of the BET audience might consist of people who either enjoy brain dead programming or only look to BET to give them brain dead programming.  You can’t give your child candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner until he’s 10 years old, and then expect him to become a Vegan.
The second problem for BET (which I discuss in more detail in my book, “Black American Money“) is capitalism.  As a Finance Professor, I teach on Capitalism all the time.  As a black man, I’ve noted how our addiction to hardcore capitalism has made it nearly impossible for African Americans to achieve liberation as a people.  Raw capitalism effectively convinces you that money is the most important thing in the world….Or, as a  rapper on BET might say, “If it don’t make dolluhs shawty, then it don’t make sense.”  The easiest path to slavery is to form an addiction to a commodity that you do not control.
The problem with the “Money Rules” methodology is that it doesn’t make much room for a double bottom line that also incorporates social responsibility as part of your business model.  So, if TJ Holmes gets a million viewers and Lil Wayne gets 1.5 million, capitalism tells you to drop TJ so you can show more of Weezy.  What this model fails to consider is that the creation of more toxic programming further undermines the intellectual quality of your audience, making it even more difficult for the next TJ Holmes to have a successful show.  This also fails to mention the negative externalities produced by teaching a million black kids to act like Lil Wayne.
My advice to Debra Lee?  Make your money, but allow the garbage to subsidize the intellectual health food.  TJ’s show might not make as much money as the BET Awards, but he is an intelligent black man, a great role model, and someone with the capacity to bring positive issues to light for a struggling community.  The fat child who’s been given candy his whole life might not like the vegetables at first, but if you throw in a bit of health food with the fattening stuff, he might actually learn to appreciate it.  Remember:  Billionaire Bob Johnson could have still made several hundred million dollars by creating more conscientious programming.  I don’t fault the brother for making money; instead, I fault him for him for WORSHIPPING money at the expense of his own community.  Again, I’m a Finance professor, so I understand the value and power of a dollar bill.
BET’s audience is a reflection of what the network has become over the years, and with the democratization of media, they’ve lost some of their relevance.  To regain a quality audience that appreciates quality programming, we can’t just rely on money-hungry, myopic investments that only allow you to consider next quarter’s profit margin.  But the challenge for BET is that when white people own you, your latitude for creating positive black programming is severely diminished, since the white executive in the suburbs could care less if the network he runs is teaching black boys to murder one another in the street.  This, my friends, is why we must have more black-owned, conscientious media, for the only way to true freedom is to learn how to control our own public imagery.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. He is also the creator of the Building Outstanding Men and Boys Family Empowerment Series. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

414 Responses to BET’s President Explains Why She Doesn’t Offer More Positive Programming

  1. I dont even know anybody who watches BET. That network went down the drain many years ago. they might as well fold up…

    its a wrap for them

    • But then if they fold up, we(black America) will scream that we don’t have a network that we can call our own!!!

      • BET hasn’t been “black-owned” for years. When it comes to mainstream media, there is no black voice. Now, if only we could get our kids to understand that…

      • BET was never really the voice of the Black community.

      • Where is Spike Lee when we need him?

      • Racist caucasians have created a stock pile of dangerous weapons with the intent of killing you know who! The only response from AA’s to this serious threat is to continue buying more gold teeth, tattoos, hair extensions, alcohol, tobacco products, crack and other BS. Caucasians created a fake god- a white man to whom black ppl pray to each day and night. The book associated with this fake god- the Bible instructs black ppl to “Love thy enemy” and “Slaves obey your Masters”. Black people, your enemy is planning to wage an all-out war against you and your response is to- Love and Pray for them. Black ppl, please realize you must overcome your fear of cacasians which is responsible for your paralysis to this eminent violence. The time has come for black ppl to stop being slave minded drones to this wicked nation and fake religion.

        • The God you’re referring to is Corporate America and the almighty dollar,It’s preached day in day out on the TV Radio and online to Young Impressionable Uninformed Young Black people teaching them how it’s supposed to be where they come from…Get Yours! Gots to get Mine!with no thought of putting in the work! meaning to educate themselves and fight the fight in the boardrooms,and not the streets where they live with each other.Have You ever,No,try this…Quick! name a positive,Young Black teen,or Young adult male figure on Prime time Television!There aren’t any they don’t want you to see them,Our young people don’t have any thing to pattern themselves by the idols they see or follow are shallow and selfish so they think that is what it means and that is what they aspire to be…The situation is fixable but we have to start in the home…where the heart is,there you’ll find your God!

          • Actually, the God he’s referring to is Jesus Christ. Africans didn’t even know who the h**l Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were until the pale faces came and beat it into them.

            Black people can pretend all they want that Christianity is for them. It’s not. 200 + years after slavery and black people are still serving their master’s God.

    • I agree. BET’s problem is simple. Turn it off. I did, when they got rid of Bev. I don’t remember the name of her show or how many years ago that was, I never watched anything else on BET.

    • What does redneck Honey Boo Boo family and rascist black americans have in common???

      Answer – They both are voting for Obama

      • Racist black Americans? Really? Yeah, because they’d have to be racist to vote for the guy who prevented a second Great Depression, got Bin Laden, ended the war in Iraq, created an agency to police the finance sector (an agency immediatly hobbled by the Republicans, btw), signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, ended DADT, restored America’s standing in the world, and led the fight to give health insurance to as many people as possible… all the way dealing with a heretofore unknown level of resistance and obstructionism on the part of the Republicans in Congress.

        Obvious proof of racism. The only thing he’s got going for him is his mixed-race status.

        • @ Saje Williams. It’s amazing what knowledge can do to remove hatred. Keep staying informed and paying attention. Obama has done far more in the name of equality, than the last 5 presidents. When a people refuse to move from extreme left or extreme right, they will always be victims. I am an educated black man, born and raised to believe that regardless of what odds are against me, it is my commitment to achieve that pushed me to run a complete race. Yes, I have had to work harder than my white peers to get the same pay. And yes I have been overlooked because of my color or because of stereotyping. I have even been pulled over for driving an expensive car, that I own. But I can tell you what has never happened to me. I have never pulled down another black man for doing more good for all people regardless of color, just to justify my position in life. Some of us, are too committed to giving up. I am so sick of hearing my own people complain about what has been done to us as a people, yet we would rather tear down another black man or woman for their success. When Obama was elected, most of us didn’t say, now we can level the playing field as people. Now someone will see what we see and make real changes. No, we said, “He is one of us, so he will surely look out for his own first.” We wanted Obama to choose us over doing what is humanly right. And then when we find that he is as imperfect as we are, we trash him and tear him down. What about our responsibility to ourselves. How can you complain about Obama, and not own up to your own behavior. It’s not a black business man, lawyer, president or even a white man that forces us to behave the way we do. If you know a man’s weakness and he never strives to overcome it, then you control his destiny. If we stop attacking each other, pick up the phone and call the police and tell them who the drug dealers are, sell out those idiots that are killing our youth, stop supporting people who are really destroying us. We don’t have the courage to take back our own neighborhoods from the punks that we see daily, poisoning our youths’ minds and bodies. Obama said something that stuck with me since he was elected in 2008. “We are the change we are looking for. When “WE” take action and stop rehearsing the same old complaints, then maybe we can become what we should be. I love being black, I love our beautiful black women, I love what we have the potential to be. But why would we expect anyone to invest more in us than we are willing to invest. Why would we expect anyone to have more courage to change us, then we have the courage to change ourselves. How can someone save us, if we won’t even attempt to save ourselves. Well, same behavior, same results.

          • you couldn’t have said this better.

          • Where is the like button for this comment!! Marvin you are correct! When Obama was re-elected alot of black people were saying how he needs to help out the black race! Ok but what are you doing to help yourselves. I mean when George Bush was elected, or any other white president, their agenda was not just for white people….the role of the American President is to help ALL people regardless of race!!!

        • And your knowledge about your great president, doesn’t mention one thing about what he did for the black american, not one. He ended the Iraq war but did nothing to clean up black chicago, detroit, and every other major black urban community, AND WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FOOL ENOUGH TO PRAISE HIM FOR THAT, JUST LIKE YOUR FOOLISH AZZ?

          MORE BLACK AMERICANS DIED ON CITY STREETS IN AMERICA, THAN WERE KILLED IN THAT IRAQ WAR!

          YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT YOU ARE FOOLISH ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THAT THE PRESIDENT WITH THE RED PHONE, AND THE FBI, CIA, AND ALL THE ARMED FORCES ARE TOO STUPID TO CATCH RAY RAY ON THE BLOCK???

          • And that’s Obama’s fault that people (can’t even say parents) are failing to raise their children with no respect for anyone, including their mothers & fathers. So he is suppose to stop the killings in Chicago & else where how??

    • I watch BET ALL the time. Every network including OWN is serving up s**t these days. TVOne is so pathetic with nothing but award shows and shows that are 50 years old, that they need to go out of business.

  2. I’m mad that they didn’t keep Ed Gordon.

    It seems that the entire black population has bought into the “if it doesn’t make money it doesn’t make sense…” ideology. I just notice that change in my lifetime of how clout, money and power driven people are in socializing and, even, dealing with relatives. If I’m not of use, which means there’s a dollar attached somewhere down the line, I’m irrelevant to them. I’m not worth knowing and/or respecting. I’m being glared over for the person 10 steps away who’s shadow is trimmed in 24k gold.

    • Ed Gordon was the main man!

      • I must agree with many of the comments. The net work has gone down tremendously!! It should have more positive programming and no added rump shaking, degrading shows and crazy music. We need more updated show with African Americans in them. Not shows that will not show us negative light,but shows that will photo type all of our culture and in a positive manner. I realize it is important to make money, but is there something you can do to re-vamp your programming, especially for our children’s sake. Children, teens, and adults need to see ourselves in a more positive role than what we’re getting.

  3. The Game is c**p
    TJ Holmes is an idiot
    They ban the best music videos and play nicki no talent and retarded rihanna and dont show Monica, JHUD, Brandy, Keyshia, and all of our other real talented people
    My Wife and Kids, and all those other old TV shows have been saturated on other networks

    Mama I want to sing is the only decent thing on BET today

    They need some decent sitcoms, game shows, and more variety. Since narcotics are such a big part of the black american community, they need to go down to South America and other places and show how that poison is made. It will wake up some people.

    TV one has some good programs now – Save OuR sons, parole, etc

    • I agree with your analysis. We need to recognize that what is being shown is as a result of the Johnsons selling the network to Viacom, which is owned by a racist, who could care less as to whether we see quality, entertaining or informative shows. I am tired of the same reruns of shows that I had to watch has a kid because that was all that was the television. We can do better! I am looking forward to watching ASPIRE; Magic Johnson’s new network. I am hoping that he will offer the programs that we need to watch to raise our consciousness.

      • @Pia Yes thank you so much for saying this. I told my friends to look at the website to see who Runs these shows- not one ethnic face. That is when the programming went downhill. I wonder how the black people like Lee feel about helping destroy things overall. Positive shows would help & as a result, bring in money over the long run, versus fifteen minutes of fame for each sudden reality show. I vowed to avoid watching them nearly a decade ago.

        • I think it funny how WE, Lifetime, VH1 and other always get better black shows than BET, TVone, etc.

          Also, BET is a lot better under Debra than the Johnsons, that’s for sure.

      • Now that we have a diagnoses for the BET problem,I would think the executives (Black, Jewish, Caucasian or Other)should began to appreciate
        the impact of positive pogramming for the benefit of society.
        The Black intellectuial has provided keen observations that should allow
        media giants to take a greeater responsibility for the content of their
        programs.When you know better you are expected to do better.

      • The Johnsons were just as bad as the new owners. In fact, Johnson (the male) made a statement and I paraphrase, he was in business to make money. He was not concerned with our image, just the money. This denigration did not begin with the new owners, it began with the Johnson.

  4. They need to show how african boy soldiers have entered america and corrupted our black american youth. I saw a show on that today with currenttv.

    In other words they need to stick in a few learning programs on current events.

    • Get out of here you CIA troll. Quit trying to stir up conflict amongst African people.

      • yeah we need to keep quiest so you 3rd world trolls can continue to destroy black america, all in the name of a black unity that the continent of africa doesn’t even possess.

        Since the end of apartheid, migrants from across Africa have gone to South Africa, attracted by its relative prosperity.
        The BBC’s Caroline Hawley in Johannesburg says the immigrants have become a scapegoat for social problems, such as unemployment, crime and a lack of housing. Mobs of South Africans continue to roam around some townships near Johannesburg, looking for foreigners and looting their shops.
        Some 6,000 people have fled a wave of attacks on foreigners in South Africa, which has left at least 22 dead, aid workers say.

        • Ludamilla, what in the h**l dose what is happening in Africa in general , and South Africa inn particular have to do with our black youth? Please tell us that. You said that African boy soldiers are corrupting our youth!! I wasn’t aware that, starting way back to NWA, Bithches with Attitudes, Hoes with Problems, all the way up to Little Wayne and all of the rest of these ignorant rappers- who prey on those more ignorant then themselves- were from Africa!! These are the “africans” that are corrupting the thinking, behavior and attitudes of our youth!! These are the ones constantly promoting a self-destruc tive life style dedicated towards excessive materialism, violence, alcohol use,drug use (both using them and selling them)sexism, ignorance,joblessness (is cool) incarceration (is even cooler!) Our youth are attempting to immulate these self-haters, not some brothers from thousand of miles across the ocean!! As a matter of fact, our uncounsious people don’t, a won’t even recognize that these people, and ourselves are one and the same flesh and blood. Our youth, through the constant micprohones of such rapper as Little Wayne and others, consider themselves “n****s” (which is the same n****r, just spelled differently! At the same time, you could’t find one self-respecting African man or boy who would dare call themselves a n***a or a n****r! No, baby girl, our problems aren’t external, they are internal. Look wihin.

          • Most Americans have no idea more of their fellow citizens – men, women and children – were murdered this year by illegal aliens than the combined death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since those military campaigns began

            “How many African-American leaders have you seen come out and address the impact that high levels of illegal immigration [are] having in the communities when it comes to jobs, when it comes to education, when it comes to health care and crime”

            Smuggling Trends in the Caribbean
            I will begin by briefly describing our assessment of the drug
            smuggling threat in the Caribbean. As this Committee is aware, the
            Customs Service continually develops, collects and evaluates a variety
            of drug intelligence from the Caribbean area. It is estimated by the
            Interagency Assessment of Cocaine Movement (IACM) that approximately
            43% of the cocaine destined for the United States arrives from the
            Caribbean.

            Stepin Fetchit was the stage name of comedian Lincoln Perry. Little is certain about his background other than that he was born in Key West, Florida to West Indian immigrants. He was the second child of Joseph Perry, a cigar maker from Jamaica

            Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days. Most of the dead were Tutsis – and most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus. Even for a country with such a turbulent history as Rwanda, the scale and speed of the slaughter left its people reeling.

            In the United States, new AIDS patients are relatively more likely to be men who have s*x with men (MSM); in Florida, they are relatively more likely to be female, heterosexual and black — ESPECIALLY AMONG IMMIGRANTS FROM HAITI, AND ELSEWHERE IN THE CARIBBEAN

            ARE YOU SO NAIVE THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT 1 MILLION THIRD WORLD IMMIGRANTS, MIXED IN WITH OUR 12 MILLION BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITY MEMBERS HAVE NOT AFFECTED OUR AMERICAN COMMUNITY FOR THE WORSE? YOU CAN TAKE A NEGRO OUT OF THE 3RD WORLD, BUT YOU CANT TAKE THE 3RD WORLD OUT OF HIM AND JUST WHAT IS THE THIRD WORLD:
            POVERTY, NEW DISEASES, DRUG TRAFFICKING, ETHNIC HATRED, SATAN WORSHIP, AND POOR CULTURAL VALUES.

      • Can you believe that! African boy soldiers, here? How did they get here, speaking no English, living with whom? You are right this post is from a CIA troll or a simple idiot.

  5. In my opinion, Debra Lee does not know what she direction she wants to go with BET because when she first took over she got rid of Uncut stating that it was degrading to women, but now she is all about the money. There are several different programs she could show on BET that would be positive for the black community. For instance, look at some of the shows they show on TVOne and on Centric. I think she is just using excuses and is now about the almighty dollar instead of the empowerment of the black community. They stated Don’t Sleep with T.J. Holmes ratings are not good but look at the lack of promotion for that show, especially in other media outlets. I do agree with people that the time could be earlier, like at 10:00 pm instead of 11:00 pm, but not because it’s late but because most people’s local news comes on at 11:00 pm.

  6. Don’t Sleep announcements had many looking for real coverage that Black America truly cares about. Tuned in and found that it’s the same as those shows on other networks, Reality Show.

    Don’t tell Black folk you have their backs and play the same old games. When Vivica Fox was on with that Right Wing Woman who sucked up all the air in the room it was a complete disaster and TJ had absolutely no control.

    If you want to watch this kind of ridiculous back and forth with those who betray the community we can watch, the Micheal Steals, that woman, JJ and others on regular tv.

    TJ’s show should keep it’s promise to the community, have their back, no jokes, no funny stuff no realtiy show, address the real issues facing the black community with suggestions or recommendations to fix them. Include the general community for input, once you come up with a show that really addresses building black america BET won’t have to worry about who’s tuning in.

    Before, we gave TJ a chance we haven’t watched BET for years, no substance.

    TJ is far too talented and caring about the Black Community to use his extroadinary talent in such a “Reckless Manner”

    TJ and the black community deserves better.

  7. I have not watched BET in about 15+ years and now BET has put on a excellent show called Don’t Sleep and that is only for 1/2 hour. Puleeze. At least make the show for an hour so that Holmes can really get to the root of the problem.

    This is the only positive show that BET has produced in years. viacom could care less about the true Black community and will squander toxic programming on African Americans like Debra Lee who is willing to sit by and taste the crumbs of Massas toxic meals.

    Debra Lee probably does not watch BET, she just exists there. I miss Ed Gordon’s experience, professionalism, intelligence, dignity, self-respect and the ability to dig deep for information.

    Long gone are the days of true activism and now African Americans are willing to voice their concerns on the internet but won’t go any further.

  8. I have been trying to REMEMBER that T. J. Holmes is now on BET. I like him and the show. I just wish it could be extended to one hour. I have to get myself back in the habit of turning him on at 11:00 because I had
    quit watching BET too. This is an election year, and it’s so sad that BET had nothing to offer its viewers in terms of interviews with some of our Black Caucus members and digging deeper into the issues that will most definitely affect us. Debra Lee let’s do better!

  9. The thing is, networks don’t want to invest TIME in allowing their audiences to warm to less salacious fare. We all know controversy will have viewers in the millions…but BET wants that microwave hit. They have to remember, while i know about the economics of television, the lives of our young and impressionable is most important to consider. Debra Lee should be ashamed.

  10. It’s really unfair to blame Debra-she was hired but The Johnson’s founded the company and then sold it. When they sold it they clearly, had no restrictions for the owners in the contracts. People sell all the time with clauses and restrictions. As for your remark about Tavis it’s not narrowed to him. For the most part, Black people as a whole challenge your blackness if you don’t support Obama so you Watkins-can leave that jab out!!!

  11. BET can have programing that can focus on several things:
    Health: We do have African American physicians who can host shows with segments about Men’s health and Women’s health. Give Shaun T(Insanity workout) an hour show of exercising. Al Sharpton a show discussing politicical issues. Donnie Simpson old school music videos or dance program. Some of your African american producers like Debbie Allen, Spike Lee, etc to produce positive weekly shows. Use your african american interior designers, carpenters Chefs etc… The programing is all wrong for BET if you want ratings you have to give your target market what they crave. Black America is full of talent and BET should tap into that talent. If they can’t or won’t these are ideas for a NEW african american focused network that is willing to explore it.

  12. I am loving the new show ‘Don’t Sleep’ w/T.J. Holmes. It is about time. Unfortunately, that is about as far as Viacom will allow BET to tap into the market of the older than 30 and educated audience. I get frustrated w/the programming so I watch PBS and Smithsonian programming. Thanks for ‘Don’t Sleep’ though. I support BET on that program.

  13. The revolution will not be televised. If we as a community really want to make a difference we have to turn off the TV’s and listen to the cries of our brothers and sisters that are hurting. The children that grow up with missing fathers and mothers look to BET to keep up with their role models their able to lay out a blue print of how to survive in the streets when listening to jezzy and jayz they except drugs and violence because they don’t know anything else. BET is only a reflection of what’s wrong with black American. The change has to start in the streets and that’s the way it’s always been all the way back to Martin and Malcom.

  14. We also have TV one founded and ran by a black woman. Love that channel and now we have OWN which we all know who runs that Tyler Perry is planning on coming out with his on network so if BET wants to play the same stuff over and over again let them. Turn off the tv and im sure they’ll try something else make your children turn it off and read a book!

  15. Gerelyn Reynolds

    Shame on you Debra, what makes you think educated blacks want to watch the garbage being shown on BET?? I often wondered why you allowed the rappers to perform in front of you with their pants down to their knees and their underwear showing at the BET Awards.

    Also, why isn’t there more advertising for T. J. Holmes’ show – I would watch it if I knew when it is on, and I’m sure other viewers would watch as well.

  16. Just So You Know

    I believe its important to point out that the head of program strategy and acquisitions @ BET is white woman by the name of Barbara Zaneri. She is ONLY concerned about ratings and has never cared about content. Both Stephen Hill and Loretha Jones defer to her and they are presidents of Music Programming & Original Programming, respectively. Quality programming is submitted to BET all the time, however Barbara normally only purchases titles from her network of white distributors. She rides her department to find the lowest common denominator titles, and to spend the least amount of money to acquire them in the process.

  17. I love TJ Holmes. But, as a creative media professional, I must agree with the pragmatics of Ms. Lee’s position that require she focus on the bottom line. ANd TJ’s show ain’t gonna cut it. I was deeply disappointed when he left CNN. I made a point to always catch his b’casts. But, after learning that he had departed on his own volition to pursue a project at BET, I thought, “GREAT. About time they started thinking like a ‘Global Black’ entity and leave the blackfaced coonery behind!”
    I waited. And waited. Then finally, started to see the promos for “Don’t Sleep with TJ Holmes.” I was no longer eager to see Holmes’ new project. Just from the teasers/promos, it was clear the show would be so dependent on derivative ideology and unclear on its own identity, that it would not connect with viewers. I was right.
    TJ is handsome, telegenic and smart. However, BET execs were so busy trying to turn him into a black version of Jon Stewart they wholly forgot or plain ignored what makes The Daily Show (and the Colbert Report) so entertaining and wildly popular….AUTHENTICITY.
    From set design, content development and management, and the stale late-20th century promo tactics and programming ideology DOOM TJ and his show – and with it the hope for any concrete programming that would appeal to anyone other than the drugz/booze-n-b*tches set.
    Ms. Lee is not wrong and Dr. Watkins sounds like a whiner, barely removed from the bucket…together neither of them are really doing any good for the State of Black America (except in their own minds), but Ms. Lee, for her there is hope. But like Dr. West and Tavis Smiley, Dr. Watkins will just be another disgruntled and gripey black man.

  18. The reason BET and the artists it promotes succeed is because they have been led to believe that they have to belittle their potential to tramsform our community in order to maximize their capital. If BET truly wanted TJ’s show to stay on air, they would promote it during 106 & Park and then air it immediately after 106. Instead, it is given an 11 PM timeslot because BET wants it to fail. Once it fails, BET can say we tried something different and it didn’t work. Unfortunately, the people who might enjoy TJ’s show stopped watching BET a long time ago, and the people who watch it now are too comfortable with it to understand that they deserve better.

  19. I want to thank everyone here for your comments of expression for this article. My longterm concerns about BET as well as other programming has weighted on my heart many years. Never one to spend much time complaining about issues, i’ve always wanted to do something about it. Starting with the issue of hating my job working for someone else, a corporate slave master, I chose to leave the plantation and start my own biz. It is hard work and time consuming and is in the entertainment industry so at least it can be fun at times. I am in the process of creating my own network based on the internet full of diverse programming. While planning this programming, it is great to know what people want to see. Since a few of the channels will cater to the interests of African Americans like my self, I appreciate hearing from you. Your opinions, concerns and requests for improvement stir my creative juices. When this network is ready to go, I know I will have programming viewers want because they will have the opportunity to choose what stays on. In addition, for those of you with producing and filmmaking skills, you will have the chance to bring your talent to us. Funding will be provided. I look forward to bringing diverse, educational, positive, challenging and entertaining programs. Keep your eyes open in 2013? You heard it here first.

  20. BET is for I D I O T S…

  21. I wish greed was the only motivation. These devils are killing us daily. Save your family. Turn the c**p off, read books.

  22. BET’s President Explains Why She Doesn’t Offer More Positive Programming.

    It’s a White Owned Network and she has to do what she’s told. BET does not intend to work in the best interest of African Americans/Black People/Africans/Colored People, or People of Color.

    There was a time when black organizations fought against “Bafoonery”, today they are just paid off to go along with the programs.

    Hotep

  23. It is good to see/hear the conversations about BET programming. We also need to voice our concerns not only on this forum but to BET.

    This is a bit off the subject but I want to inform you that there is a movement out to get “US” together. No matter who gets elected as president, we as a people are going to struggle harder. The movement is unity movement. http://www.unitymovement.com

  24. This time I agree with you 100% Dr Boyce.

  25. BET is owned and controlled by our racist European enemies so Lee and the others do as they are told.The only solution is the Marcus Garvey one of owning and controlling our own media and boycotting and not supporting the enemies’ media in any way, shape or form.AMEN RA BE PRAISED.

  26. BET is owned and controlled by our racist European enemies so Lee and the others do as they are told.The only solution is the Marcus Garvey one of owning and controlling our own media and boycotting and not supporting the enemies’ media in any way, shape or form.AMEN RA BE PRAISED.

    • True. Should we follow the Garvey principle these things can be totally avoided and we would be in a position ‘to call the shots’ and not to be dicated to and follow orders.

  27. Boyce, I read the complete article and must commend you for a well written. As you stated in the article, we MUST OWN OUR OWN. Mandingo has the exact same sentiments.

  28. Sheila Johnson and her ex-husband should be the last two to talk about programming on the BETetwork. Their programming choices where not so great either. They pitched to lowest dommon denominator as well…black music videos!

    • I agree with you regarding Sheila and Bob Johnson’s programming. However they did have some good current affairs programs with people like Ed Gordon, Tavis Smiley among others.
      The question that needs to be asked is why didn’t those programs gain a greater audience?

  29. I no longer watch BET, not the awards, most times I see a rapper as I’m turning the channel and I do not recognize him. BET promotes nothing worth watching (I haven’t checked out TJ Holmes just yet). The Game was okay the first season and then instead of the family man, the interracial dad became a cheapskate, the loving black couple became plagued with “baby mama drama” and the older successful single mom was ghetto. Most people LOVED the show after this but this is the point I stopped watching it. They place these stereotypes upon us that they expect us to follow and after the first season or album you see the changes on the African American communities. So much red hair after Rihanna and short cuts after Amber Rose and so many people striving to become a rapper because the life looks easy. We don’t have many Nas’, Tupacs, Outcasts anymore too many “bad b*****s” and women accepting the names that they are given. We live in a scary community the African American community is plagued by health problems, poverty and ignorance, the way that society wants us and BET contributes to that mentality.

  30. I know that when you point the finger at someone else, your thumb is pointing back at you, Dr. Watkins…however, I concur!

  31. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him/her drink…especially with the anti-knowledge mentality that’s gripped young black people of late.

  32. BET could probably do a better job with programming but their target market represent leas tham 16% of the population. The target is also a diversified one. It maybe that the % of the target that is literate enough sustain quality programming is too small.

  33. Peter D. Slaughter

    Gave up this phony bet souled out trash years ago.
    I wonder why do black people keep beating a dead horse thinking they will change.

  34. Rev. George Brooks

    Debra Lee just wears the title of president, and stands out front, but she has absolutely no power or control at BET. IT IS OWNED AND CONTROLLED BY WHITES, AND MAINLY JEWS. Who are still bloodsucking black folks, as they have been since, and during, slavery. And they are not going to even allow T.J. Holmes’ show to really take on all kind of issues, especially if it what is said hurts Jews. I’ve been trying to get some, any or even one black on TV, radio, or on these so-calle black websites to talk about Jews and racism in Israel, and how the Jews are even in total control of Obama in the White House, but NO BLACK IN NO MEDIA WILL say a word. Not even a whisper. And these are suppose to be fullly grown and mature black men and women, but afraid of white folks and Jews. Kind of like our poor ancestors back in slavery, evn in this day and time. So Debra Lee is nothing but a light-skinned aunt Jemima. — Rev. George Brooks

  35. I hope that T.J.Holmes will not regret leaving CNN where he was the man.I woke up every Saturday morning just too see him but money talks and I guess he went for the money I remember back in the day BET was the spot especially with Ed Gordon and Tavis Smiley and Donnie was there for the younger crowd.(WHAT HAPPEN BET??)

  36. BET programing is so toxic and degrading for the black community that I have long removed myself from the channel, the programing remind me of the things that pleg Black America as I attend jails and prison and see the young black males in prison trying to live out the “thug life style” that seem to be so hip that had led to many young blacks jobless, in prison, with the apperance no decent job would wand to have some of them as an employee, it is disgusting to see this life style glamorized in the black community, the “little rascals” in the thirties was steriotyped with “Pinkynanny brades” and bows on their hair it is sickening to see this glamorized as hip, in jails where grown men tear up their t-shirt to make bows for their hair. We need a wake-up call for our young people.

  37. We as responsible people of color cannot lay all of the blame on greed and indifference of the owners. You all have to realize they are there to make money and ni66ers still want to be dumb down and watch the same c**p that is killing their kids. Look at Mcdonalds at one time they were advertising directly towards blacks for the food that is killings us, especially when more whites stop eating there after the movie Super size me came out.

    We spend more money then most countries, I bet if we all stop supporting the companies that advertise on those crappy shows they will get the msg.

  38. Black
    Evil
    Television

  39. brotha dr.boyce watkins you are telling the sho nuff truth and i concur with everything that u are saying about robert johnson .that sista debra lee works for viacom with that being her interests and concerns lie with viacom and as we all know white corporate america don’t give rats a*s about the black community.however i do support tvone and linktv.

  40. Boykins, I usually get irritated with your posts, but every once in a while like this post, you come with your “A” game.

    Good job on today’s post.

  41. I think it’s interesting that we want her to make less money in order to provide quality programming. The entertainment industry shows us exactly what they think of us and where they want us to be. Too many of us flock to this programming, and then get mad because it isn’t as positive as we think it should be. She and the other execs at BET are no different than other network owners, and somehow, we expect her to make less money to appease people who don’t even watch the network. If I were of that mindset, I wouldn’t do it either.

  42. One thing missing from Debra’s comments is the face that,TJ Holmes’ show is just not good. I’ve watched it several times and the formatting/structure of it is just not good. I am a fan of TJ’s and wish him all the success in the world.

    It would be awesome if BET could connect with creative people (like me) to create entertaining, socially-responsible shows; these qualities are not mutually exclusive.

  43. BET will never fold-they are typically included in all cable packages so even if you don’t watch you pay for it.

  44. Herman Hawkins Jr.

    BET is out front but not alone in promoting garbage. Garbage sells and blacks as well as whites buy into the garbage. BET lost me long before Viacom took over by getting rid of Bev Smith’s “Our Voices” and “Lead Story” not to mention “Teen Summit” yet we as a people are partially responsible for supporting garbage. Why do you think the poisonous music sells. And let’s not even begin to talk about reality TV. Next to music videos this medium is the most destructive ever put out. The trashiness and emptiness of this junk really irritates me and the popularity of this trash mystifies me. This plays directly into the presidential election. The success of this garbage is feeding into empty mind of all races and ethnicities. If you can feed people junk, then you can pump their minds with garbage advertising, which is what Romney and Ryan and the rest of the Republicans want. Ever noticed the many of the stars of reality TV tends to be aligned with the GOP, like “Survivors” Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Without that garbage no one would have ever heard of her and she would never had landed on “The View” which needed a conservative voice. Look at Donald Trump with his “Apprentice” shows and now he has nothing else better to do than mock President Obama with the birther issue. People please educate yourself and think outside the box. If you don’t like what’s is out there in entertainment, go to reading and further your knowledge. You don’t have to drink the poison that’s out there, whether it’s entertainment junk or fast food garbage like McDonald, the BET/MTV of restaurants.

  45. Donnie Simpson where are you? I remember the day when you could get stuff on the boxes with just a little electronics knowledge… Oh for those days…. As always s*x sells and garbage is garbage, Maury were is your babies daddy show??

  46. Yes, Debra lee is greatly at fault for the dumbing down of BET programming. If you have not read the book already, start by reading “The Billion Dollar BET”. I can only respect Debra Lee as a human being and it ends there. She has earned the criticisms which are basically assessments of her role at BET before and after Bob Johnson sold BET.

    C. Delores Tucker tried to warn us about where BET was headed. However, the responsibility and control of what is watched on TV lies with the parents who owns the TV. Sadly, some adults have been dumbed down over the years thus their children are ingesting/digesting the same poison on BET and other moronic networks.

    STOP WATCHING BET and bombard the advertisers with complaints… see how quickly the programing will change. Turn off the TV. Have family discussions at the dinner table; read books; check out PBS programming. Black Folks, we DO HAVE POWER. MONEY TALKS and we can make it talk effectively for us as a race of people. Power of the pen/social media and boycotts is mighty.

  47. Pingback: Disgruntled and discontent: BET’s disconnect from the Black community | UCA

  48. Debra Lee, Dear if you haven’t already realized most stations don’t pick up BET TV-1 or Centric, you have to pay out of your behind just to receive these station and then get shows that keep repeating until you lose interest or stop looking and I know these stations have shown some wonderful shows that have inspired and enhance our Youth as well as adult, You are a wonderful person with an amazing smile, but some of the cable stations Programmers keep playing games by constantly removing stations and then returning station like it’s a game, which leave you thinking that nobody cares, yes we do but sometimes the cable companies and not you, can really get on a person’s nerves!!!

  49. I will be honest I have have been disappointed with B.E.T. from it’s inception. I thought we( Black people) would finally have a television network that would show the world who we really are, and all we have been given is a Minstrel Show. It really saddens me that so much positive things has happened in the Black community and all the world get to see is us sing and dance for Mista Charlie.

  50. Pingback: BET’s President Explains Why She Doesn’t Offer More Positive Programming - Holistic Ebony

  51. You’re losing programming because a lot of Satellite stations and Cable stations have disregarded either TV-One, BET and Centric. She can pretend people don’t watch, their so many good shows that I wish that I could actually see. I get BET which I wish one days that Centric and TV-One will follow one day>

  52. I quit watching BET years ago. And now I do not care what they show I have no plans to watch it. In fact I do not even consider their channel the times I decide to watch television.

    If I’ve shopped at a certain store for years without finding key ingredients I needed to cook healthy I quit shopping at said store. I also never look at their advertisements to consider them for future trips to the store.

    What BET fails to recognize or acknowledge is that they did this when they decided money ruled the game. And yes at times money trumps but be careful it’s at those times that you will find your self short changed at the end.

  53. Ask Ms. Lee why should she out the positive shows on when most are heading to bed. What happened to prime time programs 8, 9 or 10. Then maybe folks can show up.

  54. Bottom line is that people like Debra Lee, Sheila & Bob Johnson have no conscious and like most nouveau riche blacks deliberately sell their souls for personal gain; and have no inclination to be responsible, conscientious and/or associated with blacks in capacities other than as fake “leaders” and celebrities who exploit blacks for profit and then shower those profits to causes, and ethnic groups outside of the black community, especially the black communities who are in the trenches trying to uplift black folks from modern day slavery and oppression.

    No one knows better the power of the media, propaganda and mind control messaging more than Debra Lee, and Bob & Sheila Johnson. Sheila Johnson is definitely not void of fault when it comes to BET. As a matter of fact, BET was arguably worse in its c**n vaudeville acts when she was there despite her constant bragging about her teen show. Whoppee! Does she want a medal for a short lived teen show when the preponderance of their programming was to brainwash their black viewing audience to be stuck on stupid and acting like modern day coons, pimps hos?

    Fact is, Sheila Johnson is so busy buying the aspired “love” of whites with her new found wealth built on the backs of blacks out in Middleburg, VA where she paid for the replacement of the entire water filtration system after being in court for years begging for a permit to be able to build her spa, target marketing non-blacks, and her underwriting the Parsons School of Art in NYC which has virtually minus zero black student participation and gives little to nothing back to the black community, particularly the underclass black community and ditto for her former husband Bob Johnson.

    She and her husband treat blacks who they don’t recognize as having “arrived” as the “little people” as they feel that they have no one else to treat like dirt and will actually shoo you away, have security remove you away from them and/or just as their successor, Debra Lee, will do too. If you’re not a recognized black face of “importance” they, like Oprah is notorious for, will just be outright mean and nasty towards you for having the unmitigated gall to approach them if you’re not a black person they consider important and/or ripe for exploitation. Of course, they never meet a white person they don’t want to be their new friend when they approach them.

    Bill Cosby wants to blame everything that’s wrong with black folks on poor blacks. Fact is, its the “nouveau riche” blacks who much too often would rather not be able to pay their taxes a few years down the road than to support a black cause or the black grass roots workers in the trenches trying to save our babies, our youth, our schools, our communities, our future as a people.

    They are, in fact, the ones who are the worse example of coonism in the black communities as they only wish to snub and look down on the poor blacks they used to be a few years back, and shower anyone who is non-black with their new found wealth [see Oprah, Sheila Johnson, et al blacks with considerable wealth], as they are now going to spend the rest of their lives making white folks love them by buying their way into their lives, circles and mere presence.

    These newly minted blacks would also rather go to jail for failing to pay their taxes than to be able to uplift and influence positive civic action in the black community by making tax exempt donations to help those agencies in place [especially those struggling in the trenches] to uplift, educate, inspire and elevate black people and causes to help provide our children with hope, and educational knowledge and love of self, their Ancestors, their history and other means of inspiring greater self-love and respect — not to mention being slaughtered in the streets like cattle every day of the week.

    They won’t do this because all the nouveau riche blacks want to do, in reality, is get as far away from anyone who looks like them as possible who isn’t of their ilk. And the last thing they want to do is elevate the masses of blacks who come from the poverty and blackness they hail from. White folks might not like them anymore.

    Blacks are the only demographic of rich folks who don’t give back to their own communities to any real degree of impact once they get money. Their agents are non-black, their doctors and lawyers are non-black, their friends and neighbors are non-black [unless its one of them exclusively]; their nannies, interior decorators, gardeners; drivers; maids; fitness experts; doctors, jewelers, etc. ad nauseum are all non-black. And especially their donor causes, with a small splattering of NAACP, Urban League and UNCF at minimal levels of PR exploitation support every blue moon.

    Blacks need to check ourselves and stop trying to pretend that the hate waged against us is exclusively from non-blacks when in fact the biggest hater of blacks is blacks, especially those who think that they have “arrived” and are out there showering everyone but black folks with the fruit of their newfound wealth, more often than not, facilitated by, and/or made on the backs of blacks.

    I know from personal experience of what I speak and the crude and mean spirited treatment everyday blacks get from these “have arrived” blacks when trying to approach them about anything that will uplift the black community at large, especially if it isn’t about nonsense, would amaze you in its mean spiritedness.

    And, Sheila Johnson and Debra Lee are amongst the most rude and nasty with those blacks they don’t deem one of them and/or ripe for exploitation too. So cut the c**p Sheila, we know you don’t give a d**n about the black community but are keeping the criticism up about Debra Lee and BET due to past unresolved “issues” and a need to stay in the limelight for publicity while being tucked away in your white folks only “haven” of Middleburg, VA and global buying of acceptance in every corner of need for validation outside of the black community. Most of you newly minted rich blacks are absconding slaves looking for massah to let you buy their “love” [of money, of course].

  55. Other Like-minded other fully awake African Americans regarding your comments. In fact, there is much like this going on in addition to overall long term unemployment and negative economic status of African Americans, which is much worse than what is being reported by white-owned mainstream media organizations and African Americans with and without higher education are deliberately not being hired for available jobs having nothing to do with their skills or education, are deliberately being discriminated against by the vast majority of America’s employers who are white, and white employers nationwide are overwhelmingly first hiring other whites and non-African American native minorities (Latinos, Asians, etc…). The employment, business development, and economic and social conditions in America for African Americans, for blacks in the Carribean and Africa, and for poor people worldwide are going to get far, far worse than most can even begin to imagine and all are sitting ducks.

    Equally important is the fact of all white America’s highly useful black pawns including 1/2 white Barack Obama, 1/2 white Benjamin Jealous, high white-blooded Marc Morial, 1/2 white young turk master politician Newark, NJ Mayor wannabe Govenor Cory Booker, the 1/2 white Lt. Govenor of MD, the former 1/2 white D.C. Mayor Fenty thank-God-blacks-got-rid-of-him-but-way-too-late, and also other 1/2 white/black and non-biracial black politicians in America nor the Congressional Black Caucus. Ditto for the so-called “Elite Blacks” who are overwhelmingly willing henchmen and henchwomen of America’s white power structure all seeking to maintain their access to money and positions of authority awarded them for doing the bidding of white supremacy against the Black Race en mass in America, Carribean, and Africa. Far too many cloaked in black and brown skin providing them automatic access, infiltration, and voices of white-led deception, condemnation, destruction, and nothing else into black communities, black agenda grass roots advocacy organizations, and churches nationwide.

    None of them are going to do anything at all tangible to stop or reverse the fast upcoming onslaught of deliberately escalated out of business, upper-income, middle-income and working-class employment into huge new black poverty populations joining pre-existing black poverty in America rife with anger that will become deep depression, despair, fury, poor health, sickness, riots, and ultimately blood in the streets, death, and mass incarcerations. All is underway and on the way by deliberate design. The America government and big corporations have for a while been quitely and rapidly building more prisons in great anticipation of them being filled with hordes of angry and riotous new and pre-existing long term unemployed, revolutionary, radical and poor people. The USA is quitely readying long ago previously closed military bases and other locations.

    Why will black politicians and black “elite” nationwide not do anything? Because they are also brainwashed and really have no real power and can’t and, if they actually seriously tried to do something substantially positive and longstanding to rapidly help reverse and stop black economic decline, they and members of their families will be investigated, hounded, scandalized, bounced, acquired fortunes taken, unemployed, blacklisted, bombed, and nullified in every which way either banged six-feet into the ground or also fast into the upcoming deliberate sunami of escalated new and massively increased black poverty.

    So, black politicians perform just enough believable lip service and window-dressing to appear as though they are working hard, can, and will achieve valuable tangible, if not priority results, for the people. Black politicians are not in charge and the black elite don’t even try to be charge because all know they are not, those who are in charge know it, and the only ones who do not realize it are way too many millions of black people in America, Carribean, and Africa. Black people en mass really have no real idea of who is really running America and the world, what is really going on, where those people are, what they are doing and what is going to happen, how and when. Black people have no clue of what the long game plan really is nor understand that black politicians and rich black elite are going along to get along hoping to be allowed to do what little they can and that they and their families will be spared.

    Who runs the world and controls world commerce, affairs, and the leaders of all world nations? Principally supernatural powers of evil together with the human Bilderberg Group, The Vatican, U.S. Council of Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission followed by back-up from their boys/girls of USDOJ CIA/FBI, USDoD, NATO, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Federal Reserve Bank, Wall Street, largest American and international corporations worldwide, and the richest people in the world. The vast majority of black people in America and Africa are not paying any attention to the strategic tactics completely detrimental to their prosperity and basic survival long underway and much that is quite visible right in front of them. There are two places in America of several in America and Europe that black people who can should visit and see to achieve if not full quick understanding of the long game plan in a nutshell certainly way more than a mere inkling of what it really is all about.

    The plan for both continued and escalated elimination and subjugation of black people in America, Carribean, and Africa is now and always has been multi-faceted, deep, and widescale. Unfortunately, black people in America, Carribean, and Africa are easily oppressed because they believe whatever the overwhelmingly white-controlled USA government, politicians, education system, judicial system, banks, media organizations, television programs, movies, music, and advertisement industries want them to believe.

    Take a quick trip to visit, see, and thoroughly read “The Georgia Guidestones” in Elberton, Georgia. Next, go and visit the Denver Airport and spend time thoroughly viewing the massive wall art murals throughout and also see the symbols on the marble floors. Then, research and fully read about The Committee of 300, High Knights and Knights of Malta, Knights of Columbus, and Protocols of The Learned Elders of Zion. Also, understand that HIV/AIDs was in fact deliberately created by white American and European scientists and deliberately introduced by them into Africa and America specifically to genocidedly wipe out and reduce the Black Race population (Read Dr. Francis Cress Welsing’ book The Isis Papers. Also, understand that rich white American government and private sector leaders together with those in European countries and their huge corporations are again carving up and re-colonizing Africa following covert daily wiping out of millions of African people via HIV/AIDs coupled with U.S./NATO/Europe led deliberate destruction and destabilization of the African Union (uniting of all African state countries) movement by the leaders of 54 African countries to create a united Africa via U.S./NATO/Europe paid instigation of false civil uprising in and bombing of oil rich Libya specifically to take out and murder Qadaffi who strongly fully supported, participated in, and financially supported the African Union, and via paid instigation of tribal civil war genocide in Rawada and Sudan, paid economic and civil destabilization, paid subversions, and false civil uprisings in Somolia, Congo, Mali, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria and so on, paid support and installations of certain politicians by USA and Europe as leaders of key African countries and certainly not for the benefit of the people of those countries, and following USA/NATO/Europe direct military terrorism of Libya to send message to and destabilize the African Union movement the installation of AFRICOM (U.S. and European military bases) and American/European big corporations’ land/mineral takeovers again in Africa.

    The same is going on in Black America in numerous ways ranging from via white America’s daily delivery of white supremacy subliminal and overt psychological warfare indoctrination of white domination and superiority beginning with public school education of black children daily taught about white American and European history of leaders, conquorers, european domination of black people as slaves and up from slavery to white America’s financial and political control of the public school education system regarding curriculums, what subjects / levels of courses taught, and education materials available, control of available employment and hiring, control of military and genocidal science chemical, viral, and bacterial biological warfare programs, control of judicial system, law enforcement, banks, media organizations, entertainment industry, advertising, food/health/medicine industries, control of illegal drugs and alcohol, and control of the prison industrial complex in tight partnership Europe/Vatican/Bilderberg Group.

    Black children, youth, and teenagers have since black people were first brought to America and following the Civil Rights Movement historically been taught in school all about the evolution and exploits of white America and Europe and nothing at all about Africa regarding any truth or thorough knowledge as if the huge continent of Africa and her accurate ancient history to which European knowledge and development across the board is directly tied is historically irrevelant and does not exist just as her black people have not massively contributed to the great knowledge and wealth of European, American, and world civilization. Lack of true and thorough historical knowledge of self and deliberate cover up and deceit about such of tremendous great importance is truly where the real problems of black children, adults, families, and lack of black unification really begins and from which all other negative, destructive psychological emotions, behaviors, actions flow. How can any black person on earth believe this is good or healthy for black children or the Black Race? It absolutely is not and is also long term psychologically damaging and by deliberate design.

    Any race of people not knowing their own true history or roots is a race of people easily indoctrinated, deceived, confused, self-hating, infiltrated, divided, diluted, forever largely overwhelmed, overtaken, and suspended in an idle twilight zone of ignorance to be easily daily conquored and destroyed en mass. As for what Black American and Black Africa ought to do, but far too many millions likely will not to save and reverse en mass troubles and decline of every kind is to first return to and rapidly learn and live the Word of Almighty God in obedience and in daily pray to Him asking for His mercy, guidance, and protection. Second, to rapidly unite together in active moral, spiritual, social and economic solidarity to actively plan survival and prosperity by any means necessary and acceptable to Almighty God. And third, to rapidly spread as much important knowledge and survival guidance and help if possible to as many other black people in America, Carribean, and in Africa as humanly possible. That’s it. Other than this, black people need to and should also know as well that the only unbought, unbent, strongest, unafraid, and worthy spiritual and moral leader of black people in America always speaking truth to change that more black people listen to and overwhelmingly support en mass is Minister Louis Farrakhan.

    Peace!

  56. DR BOYCE SAID AND I QUOTE “The easiest path to slavery is to form an addiction to a commodity that you do not control.” LET US PLEASE READ THAT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN…. UNTIL WE WAKE UP. wow!! i AM FEELING THAT ONE.

  57. BET President Debra Lee “hoped T.J. Holmes’ show would be like John Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’s shows”? She doesn’t watch their shows. They are satirists who make you laugh while giving informaton about the world, people and politics. They parody fools. That’s not what T.J. Holmes does.

  58. Where is Monique for the BET Awards? Despite high ratings and success, the follow her up with who?? The shows have to pay the bills, I understand that. However, when we showed upas an audience, how did the network respond? This years’ BET Awards started off with some rapper and his friends where 70% of what they said was bleeped out…really? The should have started off with Whitney Houston tribute to bring in the viewers. After having to scramble and find something for my under age child to do while I was typing in the website for the network to complain, I was shocked. Show us how to support a show that supports my viewership. I encourage the network to work on how they market to viewers (not just African Americans) within the shows which are produced. I watch “Don’t Sleep” and I Love It! However, if you want to bring in the viewers, give us something to watch. Do your job to bring quality programming. It’s not always going to be Bill Cosby, it may be BeBe’s Kids to get us off right; but, do it well.

  59. hello,overfed and undernourished!

  60. BigWill, you said a mouthful. When the white man sold us RELIGION, he realized he does not NEED the whip anymore, nor the KKK, nor the HANGING TREE. He has us right where he wants us .. Praying to a mythical GOD, wishing for a trip to paradise in death, while we relinquish earthly wealth to him.

  61. I have been saying for years that BET should do more Black documentaries. I have to rely on PBS to educate my kids in that area. And they should bombard us during February with these documentaries. They are the laziest programmers in the world. Twelve hours marathons for two days on the weekends. And I have told them such on facebook. No one wants to see A-Team on a holiday weekend!!!! I feel the plays on Sundays. However, I think I would also like to see a vintage movie every Sunday too!! Stormie Weather, Carmen, good classics. Gotta catch TCM for that…The suggestion of finance gurus teaching weekly:good idea. They play award shows forever. That documentary by Star Jones on obesity. They showed it ONE TIME!!!

  62. Speaking for myself, I am very disappointed with BET’s programming agenda. The younger generation is at a loss and BET is contributing to the ill-informed individuals that do not keep abreast of the everyday news media events. I wonder how many BET’s viewers know how many states are in the United States of America. I wonder how many BET’S viewers can name the three branches of our Federal Government. I wonder how many BET’s viewers can name their local politicians. Ms. Lee mentioned that BET has a new program called “Don’t Sleep” but Don’t Sleep airs late at night while many of the hip-hoppers have retired for the night.
    To aide in increasing your viewing public, schedule programs that has constructive formats. Take a break out and let your viewers know what is happening outside of BET’s World. Flood your young viewers with inspirational shows that they can discuss among their peers. Let them search for answers in contributing to a better World.
    Ruben W

  63. Samuel G. Bailey

    Debra Lee,
    I am Samuel G. Bailey, the Black screenwriter whom you, your company, Paramount Pictures, Viacom, and the crooked actors, producer, and director got richer and wealthier off of my script “Poison Passion”. You used my screenplay without my consent to make the movie “Dreamgirls”. You wicked crooks may think you got away with this, but I assure you “Time” may have a different answer. I tend to believe that those who seek justice with hard work and justififiable causation will receive a positive result. The game your company and the others played to attain unconstitutional and illicit judgment in federal court was deplorable and unforgivable.

    Samuel G. Bailey

  64. Boyce, is getting more desperate every day, because this is the same rehashed article, that he ran months ago. Boyce, is nothing but a useless race hustler, and stooge for the repuplican tea baggers, posing as a great liberator of the black people. He works at Syracuse university, as an non- tenured accounting professor, which he has been denied denied tenure for several years, because he is not really qualified. He is more qualified to clean the toilets at this university.

  65. Do we own BET? Do we own the stores in our community ? Do we own the property that Black males calm and kill each over? Do we own anything ? Do we have names that reflect African culture ? NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. THIS IS OUR FAULT AND UNTIL WE CHANGE LET’S expect the same. G-d will not change US until we change ourselves.

  66. thats why TVONE is kicking their a*s. TVONE is the bomb.

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  68. Don’t let the name BET (Black Entertainment Television), unlike Fox News, BET does just what it’s name suggests, ENTERTAIN. The company is owned by Mtv (Music Television)with a management structure borrowed from the book and movie “The Spook that sat by the door”. Mtv is in this to show a profit and they know that showing low level black people Clowning sells and BET President Debra Lee has to follow the direction of her employers.
    Consider, the airways are subject to a license from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which belongs to the government. I think it’s time for a group of blacks to lobby the Obama Administration for a Public Broadcast license.

  69. It all boils down to our VALUE system. Many people say they want good news but they don’t BUY good news. Crime will sell more newspapers in one day than scholarly awards will in a week. The same goes for television. People say they want quality TV but they don’t watch it.

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  71. Pingback: BET’s President Explains Why She Doesn’t Offer More Positive Programming - ForeverDC.com

  72. I remember when Debra Lee became the President of BET. BET got even worse as soon as she took the reigns. At the time that she was placed into her position I felt that BET could not get any worse then it already was. Boy was I wrong.

  73. The problems that i have with bet is that there not diverse with there actors. Second theyll put postive programing on there show,then keep the negatives things on youe show. They think by diong that thier being diverse. Comedy ,csi,that is diverse.

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  75. Both Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert are on Comedy Central owned by Viacom, which partly owns BET.

    QUESTION: If the CEO of BET says that where the TJ Holmes show is concerned that “the ratings haven’t been great”, and in so many words said that everything hinges on ratings isn’t it fair to assume that in comparison there are many other shows within the vast Viacom network that do not have as much high ratings as Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert’s shows but are popular in their own right?!?

    On mainstream networks there are a plethora of different shows which show versatile and different aspects of American culture, yet when it comes to ours we become limited in our outlook and we become more dependant on outer communnal sponsorships which dictate how we portray ourselves.

    I find it ridiculous as well as weak to imply that because Black people in great numbers don’t watch Black shows with political or social content then the plug must be pulled, as though there are NO Black people at all who are interested in such shows!

    That is a very narrow view to harbour and I would suggest that Debra Lee ‘get with the program’ and start conversing positively with grass-roots members of our community.

    Evidently she does not, and she clearly doesn’t care about the current state of BET due to the strong influence of Viacom and other media sponsors since Bob Johnson left the scene to become an even bigger billionaire!

  76. Pingback: BET Programming Suggests That Blacks Don’t Want To Learn | Urban Intellectuals

  77. Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great
    content on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    • Maybe if BET is closed down, then blacks will be forced to watch oprah give lily white lindsay lohan millions of dollas, and try to save her, all the while ignoring black american girls descent into strip clubs, prostitution and drug abuse and poverty.

      I wonder how many jobs she could have created in chicago for black youth with those millions she wasted on lindsay trying to attract the white viewers she lives for?

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