Yowch. Here is some Lil Nas X / BET Awards tea.
Another BET Awards, another year Lil Nas X gets ZERO nominations and he’s PISSED about it. Whilst he has called them out for homophobia, they have responded saying “No one from BET serves as a member of the Voting Academy.”
Lil Nas X last got nominated for a BET Award (Best New Artist ) in 2020 but hasn’t received a nomination since even though he’s had TWO no. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2021. Sure he did play at the show that same year but to not get ANYTHING? We can see why he’d get the hump about that frankly.
Debuting a new song, Late to da Party, in which he says those illustrious lyrics “Fuck BET”, he vents his anger. After he posted the video (see below) he later backed it up in a statement saying: “Black gay people have to fight to be seen in this world. Even when we make it to the top, mfs try to pretend we are invisible.”
When questioned why he was so irate when he’s got a couple of Grammys under his bet (sigh), that set him off further saying: “this is my point exactly how can i get acknowledged by the most acclaimed award show in the world and then not even just 1 nomination from my own people? is that not crazy? am i really tripping.”
Of course he is quite right and ever since he came out (HARD) and started producing unashamedly queer videos and music, he’s experienced some homophobic pushback from a couple of Black rap artists who are straight. Looking at the bigger picture, he wrote on Twitter: “This not over no BET award. This is about the bigger problem of homophobia in the black community. Y’all can sit and pretend all u want but imma risk it all for us.”
As it happens, it seems that his ire at BET is perhaps misdirected as, according to them, they play no actual part in the voting process. In a lengthy statement after Lil Nax X’s tweets, they said:
“We love Lil Nas X. He was nominated for a Best New Artist BET Award in 2020, and we proudly showcased his extraordinary talent and creativity on the show twice: he performed “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus at “BET Awards” 2019 and his “BET Awards” 2021 performance was a highlight of our show. No one cheered louder that night than BET.
Unfortunately, this year, he was not nominated by BET’s Voting Academy, which is comprised of an esteemed group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers, and creative arts. No one from BET serves as a member of the Voting Academy.
At BET, we are passionate advocates for the wonderful diversity that exists within our community. We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all of the many intersections of the Black community.”
PHEW. Lengthy indeed, but almost a bigger slap in the face as rather than look to them for failing to recognise him, it was “nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers, and creative arts”.
It would undoubtedly have been easier to have accepted that the channel and the awards were being narrow minded but this means that it was down to a far greater number of people, his peers no less, who deemed his huge success not worthy of recognition or nomination. That CANNOT be a coincidence. We shall see.
The BET Awards is on Sunday, June 26.