Here we have the BET Awards 2020 as you can read in the title. According to imdb, this event ran for three hours, but the version I watched was "only" two hours long, minimally over, and I think this was complete as they skipped the commercials etc. This is from late June 2020, so first thing that needs to be noted is that this is of course a virtual ceremony because of the corona pandemic. The host is at her living room and all the stars we see are not in the same location either obviously, no matter if we talking about the awards recipients or the performers. With many other awards shows I have criticized that it felt so much about music and performances that the idea of this being an awards show seemed almost gone. Well, what can I say about these 122 minutes. I wished there could have been more performances. That says it all I assume. What this is all about instead (and what I am referencing in the title) is politics. Probably over 50% of the show were packed with politics. I may be biased here because I am generally not a fan at all of awards shows that focus too much on politics, be it the hosts with their jokes or the recipients in their speeches, but what we have here is really taking it to the next level honestly. I will get a bit into detail on that later on. First of all, there is some kind of priceless irony here with the (key) director being Glenn Weiss, who has won so many Emmys, because he is not only a White man, but also his name is basically the German term for "white". Of course, you don't see him in front of the camera and 95% of the viewers will not even know him, so it is fine he is a crucial part of this Black people tribute show. Would have been a better title for this event. Also this has been a special anniversary because this was the 20th edition of the BET Awards and the 40th anniversary of BET, a channel that mostly focuses on programs that include Black people and as a consequence also on being watched by Black people. There is ony key problem for me already. I find it very dubious to excluse people of a certain race, ethnicity, color, gender etc. (you name it!) from any kind of ceremony, occasion whatever. But this is exactly what happens here. There are no non-Black performers allowed. There are no non-Black awards recipients. There are no non-Black nominees. I cannot support this idea one bit to be honest. Also once Will Smith and his wife are complaining once again about the Oscars being not Black enough, they should be asked what they would respond to the idea of an awards ceremony that uses the premise that only White People may be a part of the show. Or if we are talking about minorities, about a ceremony that includes only Hispanic people (not a fan of the ALMAs either from this perspective),only Asian Americans, only Italian Americans. It does not matter what we are talking about in detail. It's just not fare and goes strongly against equality in the most obvious and blatantly disrespectful ways. But these are just my thoughts. Still I wanted to give this show a chance because I like my mind blown by something of quality. The opposite is the case here. What a terribly boring awards show and the corona background and execution was definitely not the reason for that. It already starts with the host. Amanda Seales? I have no clue who she is honestly. Certainly not a renowned actress or singer because then I would at least be familiar with the name. So I guess she is a comedian maybe? Or just an entertainer or professional guest? I don't know. I don't care either if I am honest. Nothing about her hosting made me curious one bit about who she was and she also went out on a low note with the Breonna Taylor reference. Is there a killer? Or murderer? I mean even if you think it may be thugs banging at your door, it may not be the brightest idea to blindly fire at whoever is standing there, regardless of if she knew it was police or not. But that's another story.
Now, let me elaborate on a few aspects from this show that stayed in the mind the most. Almost all of them for negative reasons. In memoriam was okay, but Kobe deserved better. Johnny Legend was a highlight. He is at least as good a singer as I remembered him to be. Very nice job. Best performance of the evening. The rest of the performances were almost entirely forgettable unfortunately. With this I am also talking about the final performance from these two female singers. The epitome of music that is only there to make the masses angry. It was very loud, but not talented at all. Shameful to see. The rest of the songs and winners I do not have too much to say about. I mean why write another dozen lines on those when this show clearly never was about them. Not that they would have deserved the moment in the spotlight anyway. Instead, I would like to criticize the opening right away. This song "Fight the Power" is again one only to stir up trouble. I am all for demonstrating, standing up for one's rights, protesting against injustice. However, if the outcome is riots, lootings and burglaries and dozens (of all colors) killed as a consequence of these protests, then I cannot approve the slightest bit. These songs and messages sent here constantly during this show only made things way worse. What makes things worse in addition is the media not reporting about these killings (also Black people killed) that happened during these riots. Most of them. Some are gutsy enough luckily. And if we take a look at the motivation behind these riots, then it is as questionable as it gets too. Every life counts. Every life matters. But it is not a fact that White-on-Black killings are dominant in homicide statistics. If we take a look at how often this happens the other way around, let alone how often Blacks kill Blacks, then it makes almost no sense to only focus on the occasion when a White police officer kills a Black man. There is no excuse for that nonetheless, don't get me wrong. Just like there is no excuse for pointing a loaded gun at a pregnant woman's belly or head or whatever. But these are the events that are not reported on in these shows. And this is why it makes me a bit sad to see actors I like (Vance, Elba only to name a few) as part of this. I mean that Michelle Obama was featured in here I am not surprised one bit. By the way, she is not First Lady anymore, no matter how much you want her to be. Or that Spike Lee was. Or a few others too. And the moment they even interviewed Trayvon Martin's mother, I really had no words for that. Annd Terry Crews is persona non grata. Smh.
For a brief moment, let's move aside all racial tension here and focus on the fact that, according to the title, this was still supposed to be an awards show. Well, obviously only in theory. How many awards did they give out that night? Five and a non-competitive for Beyoncé at the end? Absolutely shameful. The order was also really random. The opportunity to care for who wins and cheer for your favorite was completely excluded this way. Not that these awards should matter anyway if they excluse every non-Black artist on the planet, but I elaborated on that before already. So yes, if there is one suggestion I would like to give the makers here if they really want to have this show and channel go on for decades to come (as the host, I think it was her, implied),then please, please, please make this about the awards. We can watch CNN, ABC etc. for the rest and watch MTV for the music. But we cannot watch anything else for the awards really. If you complain about channels other than BET not giving artists a chance "because they are too Black", then be better yourself and give them a chance to actually win awards, be in the spotlight, hold acceptance speeches. Thank you! Although I probably would have a hard time dealing with most of the people on here winning awards. Except Legend. But especially not those who came up with the most cringeworthy rhymes about corona and lockdowns and the ones talking about cops opening fire on groups of Black people demonstrating. When did that happen? I did not even hear about the rioters being shot when burgling or looting. Not by the shops they were looting. Not by police. Or, maybe the one worst moment of the show: The guy who edited his head into a picture of a White cop pushing down a Black man and we only see his head there. The body belongs to somebody else. But the head is singing. Sigh. Despicable stuff. And apparently they were so proud of this inclusion that they showed it briefly in the end once again when they combined the "highlights" from the show. This final collection also included a man who made a few statements about "White talking". I have never heard about this concept before, but now I got it. It's the idea of Black people working in offices and talking in a way and language that, according to Blacks, White people talk in. Instead they should stay with their own ways of talking and not fake something they are not. In general, a decent idea and I support it. However, what I do not support is how this is elaborated on. I mean every time White people criticize the way Blacks talk in the hood they are labelled racists. So what is up with that? It is just as bad to criticize Whites for the way they talk. It's not okay one or the other way really if you connect talking with skin color. There are many Blacks who articulate themselves very well just like there are Whites who talk as if they have never seen a school from the inside. Color is not a factor. Alright. I think this is it then. It's enough anyway. Forgive me for not always staying 100% close to the show, but that would have been impossible I believe. Tried my best though. Like I said, this show was more about race, racism, separation etc. than it was about music or entertainment and that is truly a shame. Needless to say they (Beyoncé and others) also told people constantly to go vote in November, the only thing missing was "Vote Biden".
BET Awards 2020
Action / Music
BET Awards 2020
Action / Music
BET Awards 2020 is a ceremony hosted by Amanda Seales that celebrates the achievements of African-Americans in television, film, music and sports. The virtual ceremony airs June 28, 2020 on CBS and the Black Entertainment Television Network.
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