Producer, writer and author Lilian Blankson has aired her opinion about the ongoing outrage on social media by African artists and blogs over what has been termed disrespect and presentation of backstage awards at the BET Awards.
According to Ms Blankson who joined Black Entertainment Televison (BET ) Networks in 2001 as Senior Manager of Network Specials and is currently a director of programming and production at BET International, “BET will always signify Black Star Power… Africa, if we want to be featured prominently, we need to know the facts and be very practical.”
In a series of tweets, Lilian Blankson implores African artists who have been honoured on the platform before to speak the truth than remain silent as a few others others misinform the majority.
Read her tweets (Unedited).
“BET will always signify Black Star Power… Africa, if we want to be featured prominently, we need to know the facts and be very practical.
First of all, tell the truth and stop tweeting lies and mistruths. There has never been a backstage presentation of any award. Pre recorded.
We need to work hard and get our music on the radio here in the US. How do ppl respect ur brand when u r not on the radio?
Make ur music more internationally appealing… Think of ways 2 get all audiences invested. Oliver Twist is a great example. Universal story.
Folks worked so so hard to provide a platform for Africa on the network. We won’t get there overnight. And misinformation won’t help.
BET domestic does not and has never aired African music so to have a category is a major deal. Let’s prove and show them our worth not anger.
The artists who have been honored – why haven’t you cleared the air and told the truth abt what happened! Why the silence???
Out of 19 categories, only 4 or 5 make air. This is standard in Award Shows. If the US artists are not outraged and complaining, why are we?
Performances sell Awards shows & make ratings, not the categories. Lets step up our game & get our music so big they can no longer ignore it.
If you choose to fly down and watch the show and not do press who exactly do you think is affected or missing out? Think about it.
Let’s try and keep our category and know the facts. It does nothing to the network to tale it away – but it sends us back several steps.
Finally, let’s be a little humble. No one owes us anything. Like everything else, we have to work our way to the top so we can stay there.
Nothing has ever come easy to us Africans. But anything worth having will not be a cake walk. Started from the bottom, but we here.”
Lilian N. Blankson was in charge of producing special productions such as BET’s 25th Anniversary, The BET Awards Show, Celebration of Gospel, Rip The Runway, Comedy Awards, Walk of Fame, Spring Bling, and the Hip Hop Awards for the BET network.
Lilian produced and directed the first African Cypher on BET that featured Sarkodie and also helped in the execution of the BET International act category.
Lilian Blankson authored the book “Rain, Love, Poetry and Portraits” in 2010. She is also the chief executive officer of Princess Entertainment and productions, a company that specializes in African entertainment. She currently manages Wonda Boy.