by Raveen Johnson
As the years have passed, our community has given a mean, cold shoulder to the folks over at Black Entertainment Television (BET). There have been innumerable complaints about the quality of the BET Awards, the shows that come on the network, and just the entire network in general. My question, though, is why is VH1 not receiving that same backlash?
VH1 is responsible for all of those little reality television shows that some of us love to hate. Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Atlanta Exes, Sorority Sisters, and so many more. These shows have, in no way uplifted us as a people. If anything, it constantly promotes the separation that lies within our community.
Meanwhile, BET has hilarious sitcoms, positive talk shows such as The Queen Latifah Show and The Real, and they are the only network that is consistent in hosting award shows that cater to the talent in our community. Now I will not say that BET is doing a phenomenal job at promoting black excellence and positivity, but I am saying that we cannot demonize them without calling out all of the other networks that do our people no justice.
You can always count on VH1 to show a fight, whether it be amongst black women, black men, or both. There is name-calling, dysfunctional relationships that are sometimes praised, and misplaced values. While some people question if the reality shows are really reality, they still have some type of influence on our people, and I would not necessarily call it a positive one.
BET is not causing half as much damage as VH1 is in the minds of our people, especially our youth. Both networks have their pros and cons, but only one gets called out on their cons. In order to make a change we have to locate the problem that needs changing, and it lies in more places than just BET.
Do you think VH1 is worse than BET in regards to representing black people? Share your thoughts.