July 24, 2001 |
Despite its financial success and popularity with top black talent, Black Entertainment Television has long come under fire from those inside and outside the black creative community who feel the channel should have been more aggressive in providing meaningful and insightful entertainment by and for blacks.
March 28, 2001 |
The furor over last week's firing of "BET Tonight" host Tavis Smiley, which has prompted an avalanche of protests from his fans, has dramatically escalated, with both Smiley and BET Chairman Robert Johnson separately taking to the airwaves in the last few days to explain their sides.
December 4, 1999
Re "Furor Over BET and Its Programming Isn't Going Away" (by Paul Farhi, Nov. 29): Robert Johnson's view of BET as just another music video forum, featuring primarily videos performed by black artists, is implicit in his statement that there will be no radical changes any time soon in its 60% schedule of videos. That being the case, he misleads the public with the name Black Entertainment Television. Why not be real and call it Black Video Network? Johnson justifies all BET's unethical practices with regards to those people providing labor and professional services to the network as being practical economics.
November 29, 1999 |
Huey: I used to be a firm believer in the economic philosophy of black nationalism. Jazmine: What's that? Huey: That's the belief that black people have a responsibility to support all black businesses, because that creates a strong black economic base. . . . Those powerful black business people would then act in the best interests of black America. Jazmine: You don't believe in that anymore? Huey: Let's just say BET shot a few holes in that theory.
September 10, 1999 |
An open letter signed by more than 100 comedians, including Jay Leno and Tim Allen, appeared in Hollywood trade newspapers and publications in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., on Thursday, protesting Black Entertainment Television's stand-up comedy show "Comic View." The action, sponsored by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is the latest move in an ongoing effort to pressure BET into better compensating comedians who appear on "Comic View."
July 7, 1999 |
The faded brick warehouse on a dirty and nearly hidden street near downtown Los Angeles looks like the last place in the world for a Hollywood revolution. The building, located just a stone's throw from the Lacy Street Cabaret, with its promise of "LIVE NUDE GIRLS," couldn't look more weathered and bland. The painted brick that reads "Dyer Industrial Textiles" has seen better days. Only the trailers, cable and cars that line the street hint that there is more happening within.
October 28, 1998 |
President Clinton will sit down on election eve with Black Entertainment Television talk-show host Tavis Smiley for his first one-on-one interview since January, executives at the cable channel said Tuesday. Under the agreement with BET, Clinton is expected to spend much of Monday's interview discussing the Tuesday election and its possible effect on the White House and will encourage viewers to go out and vote, BET officials said.
July 11, 1998 |
Robert Johnson, owner and founder of the Black Entertainment Television cable network, said Friday that he expects to launch the nation's first African American-owned movie studio by the end of the year. Johnson, whose BET Holdings is one of the most successful black-owned enterprises in the country, plans to produce black-themed movies for release in theaters as well as made-for-TV films for his cable network.
March 17, 1998 |
Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson on Monday sweetened his bid to take his Washington-based company private, offering $378 million, or $63 a share, for stock held by public investors. The offer by Johnson and longtime partner Liberty Media Corp., a unit of cable-TV giant Tele-Communications Inc., was accepted by the company's board but still requires approval by shareholders.