In 2012, I wrote a short article, ‘BET Awards snubs Africa again!’ (read here) to register my disappointment in the non-inclusion of the Africa/International categories in the main event of the awards. I felt if BET could honour non-black artists (Justin Bieber in the past and more recently Sam Smith), then it was a complete absurdity to not give any shine to Africans on a stage for ‘Black Entertainers’. Anyway the situation hasn’t changed yet as the same thing happened at the 2015 BET Awards on Sunday.
What is different is that, this time the African artists who were nominated in the awards are speaking up! UK-based Ghanaian act Fuse ODG was the first to speak out when he tweeted on Sunday: “Dear BET, the reason why i didn’t come is because you give awards backstage. You have no respect for our hard work and achievements.”
Yemi Alade also joined saying:
By the way…@bet_intl AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY.!!! ..IT IS WRONG TO NOMINATE HUGE AFRICAN STARS AND PUBLICLY TRY TO HUMILIATE AFRICA.WHY ON EARTH IS THE AFRICAN CATEGORY OF THE AWARDS HELD HOURS BEFORE THE “MAIN EVENT? IF AFRICAN ARTISTS ARE NOT WORTHY IN YOUR SIGHT.”
“PLS BY ALL MEANS CANCEL,DELETE,OMMIT THE “BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT (AFRICA) CATEGORY OUT OF THIS GLORIFIED AWARD. THIS IS WRONG! !! WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG.”
“Mainwhile… PLS NEXT TIME,CREDIBILITY OVER PADDYPADDY!! CREDIBILITY !!” Yemi Alade said.
One time BET Award winner, Wizkid, who made a brief appearance on the red carpet at this year’s show, has weighed in on the topic via his Twitter account. According to him BET is not too pleased that he did not attend the pre-shows or grant interviews. In his series of tweets he explains the reasons for his actions.