BET Co-Founder Says Network “Reinforces Negative Stereotypes”
Sheila Johnson may have co-founded BET, but that doesn’t mean that she’s immune from criticizing the cable network. Johnson, ex-wife of founder Bob Johnson, gave her critique of the changes the network has gone through since being sold to Viacom.
During a speech for the Conversations and Encounters program at the Carmel Art and Film Festival in Monterey County, Calif. over the weekend, Johnson said that BET “reinforces negative stereotypes of young people, African-Americans in particular.”
Rather than using the network as an opportunity to be a positive voice for the Black community, Johnson explained that things have taken a different turn. “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 said.
“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.”
Has BET done more harm than help to the perception of the Black community? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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