Back in July, we reported the media disaster that followed B. Scott’s public trans-shaming at the BET Awards pre-show red carpet. According to the fierce media personality, head honchos at BET pulled him from a live broadcast and ordered an outfit change after he showed up “looking like a woman.” Apparently the sheer tunic, palazzo pants and stilettos he arrived in were too much for television.
B. Scott (who identifies as gender nonconforming, preferring the pronoun “he”) made a quick costume change into a more male-identified outfit but was never put back on air to finish hosting duties.
Following the incident, Scott wrote on his blog:
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.
BET quickly issued an apology, claiming “BET Networks embraces global diversity” and blah blah blah to cover their asses. According to TMZ, Scott filed suit against the network seeking $2.5 million in damages to his reputation.
But while someone was crafting that lame apology, an entirely different conversation was happening behind the scenes. TMZ has obtained not-so private text and email conversations between BET Music Programming President Stephen Hill and other employees on the night in question, and they sure are a doozy!
Among the 41 pages of correspondence, which have been published in full over at HuffPo, Hill wrote “I don’t want ‘looking like a woman B Scott.’ I want tempered B Scott,” to which Network Vice President Rhonda Cowan responded “I can speak to him about being less ‘womanly.”
What can only be described as bigoted madness ensued:
BET Producer Stephanie Hodges via email: “He got upset and said he was going to blow this shit up and call GLAAD.”
Vice President of Digital Marketing Monique Ware via email: “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…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.”
Yikes! Try and spin that, BET!
As expected, a “BET spokeswoman” has denied the existence of the emails now circulating the internet:
“This claim has no merit and we are confident in our case. We provided direction [to B. Scott] no different than other talent in similar circumstances.”
We’re with B. Scott on this one, but the question still remains: Why the hell did BET even hire B. Scott—a personality known for his gender nonconforming getups—if they didn’t want him to “look womanly”?!