"I think we squandered a really important cable network, when it really could have been the voice of Black America."
Since the Johnson’s sold BET to the wolves, the network has taken on a new look, new theme, and a new direction. And neither side seems very happy about it.
Sheila Johnson, co-founder of the black network, gave BET a piece of her mind before, and she did it again, recently.
She was the speaker at the “Conversations and Encounters” program at the Carmel Art and Film Festival in Monterey County, Calif. this weekend. She shared her story about the successes and life achievements both she and her husband built together over the years, expressing that she is most proud of BET’s Teen Summit, which ran from 1989 to 2002.
But her moment of admitted accomplishments quickly turned to what appeared to be disappointment and built up anger; claiming that her product now ”reinforces negative stereotypes of young people, African Americans in particular.” And you know it didn’t end there. “I think we squandered a really important cable network, when it really could have been the voice of Black America. We’re losing our voice as a race as a result,” she ranted. “I’m really worried about what our young people are watching. There are so many young people who are using the television as a babysitter.
We have parents who are not being parents and not monitoring what their children are watching.” And there it is. From the founder herself to your ears, she admits BET has transformed into a vehicle for buffoonery. On the other hand, she did not offer any suggestions.