Last summer’s BET Awards seemed to get off without a hitch and garnered some of the highest ratings the network has ever had in a while. But it wasn’t until the next day that people realized there was drama behind the scenes during the pre-show.
B. Scott, the celebrity blogger behind Love B. Scott, covered fashion commentary on the red carpet beside Adrienne Bailon. Fans of Scott were surprised to see him pared down in a tux, a ponytail and hardly any makeup. Then Scott seemed to disappear from the red carpet.
It was eventually revealed that B. Scott was told to change out of his heels and remove his makeup to host the pre-show. Supporters felt it was wrong for BET to ask Scott to alter his appearance when they hired him knowing that he doesn’t dress in typical male fashions.
Everyone came to Scott’s defense and rallied behind him, expressing that BET owed Scott an apology. B. Scott addressed the unfortunate experience on his site in an open letter, saying:
“It’s not just about the fact that BET forced me to pull my hair back, asked me to take off my makeup, made me changed my clothes and prevented me from wearing a heel. It’s more so that from the mentality and environment created by BET made me feel less than and that something was wrong with who I am as a person.”
Scott also stated that his clothing choices were discussed and approved beforehand and that producers were present during every step of his preparation for the show, including makeup.
BET did offer an “apology” for their “unintentional offense” and vaguely cites “miscommunications from both parties”:
“BET Networks embraces global diversity in all its forms and seeks to maintain an inclusive workforce and a culture that values all perspectives and backgrounds,” the statement read. “The incident with B. Scott was a singular one with a series of unfortunate miscommunications from both parties. We regret any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community and we seek to continue embracing all gender expressions.”
But can you say, too little too late?
Last August, Scott filed a discrimination lawsuit against BET, claiming the network humiliated him by yanking him off the show because he was wearing women’s clothes. In $2.5 million lawsuit, Scott claimed he was ordered to “mute the makeup, pull back his hair” and remove the women’s wear, which included his high heels.
Now it looks as though BET may have handed Scott a win in his lawsuit. Emails from BET’s Music Programming President Stephen Hill have leaked, admitting that he didn’t want Scott “looking like a woman” while hosting the awards.
“I don’t want ‘looking like a woman B Scott,’” TMZ reports BET Music Programming president Stephen Hill wrote in an email right before the show. “I want tempered B Scott.”
After the broadcast, producer Stephanie Hodges reportedly wrote an email noting Scott “got upset and said he was going to blow this s**t up and call GLAAD.”
An email from BET executive Monique Ware reveals a potential strategy for the network to avoid a possible public relations disaster.
“The spin should be he was late for a live show and subsequently replaced and it would have been awkward in a live show to have the person assuming his role removed and him inserted,” Ware reportedly wrote. “Unless we can make public the reason we didn’t want him dressed the way he normally does, I would stay away from suits, suit selections, etc.”
BET has yet to respond to the allegations.