Leaked BET Emails Reveal Homophobic Execs Wanted B. Scott To “Be Less Womanly”

b-scott-tmzBack 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”?!

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  • KDub

    You guys really consider that a “men’s outfit”? If that’s what he ended up wearing, then he was still wearing female clothing and looking quite androgynous. Think someone just wants to make a stink to get a little attention. Trans is the new gay. =)

  • Scribe38

    The emails speak for themselves. Why hire a “queer” male who dresses in female normative clothing and attempt to change him? If they wanted a normative male look they should have pick someone else. Yea he has a reason to be upset and should sue if he didn’t get paid the agreed amount and some for the slander that he was late (unprofessional).

  • Kieran

    I think the word you were looking for is “Transphobic” rather than “homophobic”. Unless ofcourse you equate dressing like a woman with being gay.

  • LandStander

    @Kieran: “Unless ofcourse you equate dressing like a woman with being gay.”

    They do.

  • jimbryant

    I don’t think this is a case of homophobia. Instead, I think it’s a fear of unorthodox behaviour.

    You’ve got to remember that “homophobia” is an invented term. Therefore, its reason for existence cannot be traced back to a logical evolution in the way most words evolved. When you break it down, “homo” means “same” and “phobia” means fear. Therefore, in translation, it becomes a fear of same.

    This could mean a man fearing another man who has the same car as he does. Or a man fearing another man because he has the same moustache as he does.

    In any case, BET is not a paragon of decency in my view. Its whole reason for existence is sexism and racism, isn’t it?

  • Black Pegasus

    B. Scott wants to have it both ways. What the fuck is “gender non-conforming” anyway? His behavior and shtick has always been about shock value and little of anything else. Having said that, he’ll probably win his lawsuit or get a very hefty settlement.

  • BrianZ

    @Black Pegasus: How exactly is B. Scott wanting to have it both ways?

    Look, I get a lot of people are uncomfortable with a man who wants to dress in ways that have been traditionally viewed as the domain of women. It isn’t so far back that women wearing slacks would have been unheard of, right? Yet today we don’t think anything about it. If you feel more comfortable in your skin in gym clothes versus a sheer jacket, that’s on you. But let’s stop this judgmental bullshit over such superficial issues.

    Just because someone is different, or expresses themselves differently than one person does (or different than someone else thinks they should) that doesn’t make them broken, it makes the other a bigot.

  • Jared Suzume

    B. Scott has previously and on multiple occasions been shown and welcomed on BET 106 and Park in fully woman attire. I personally think that the outfit they changed him into was better then the one he showed up in and I think that’s why they made him change. And if they wanted him to look more like a man why would they have given him this sapphire blue blazer and shoes to match. I LIVE for B. Scott and his fashion but his claim to being discriminated against is baseless when you check his track record with BET.

  • DShucking

    Sue the shit out of them.

Comments are closed.