Yes, White People Have Won BET Awards

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  • Angry

    So, I just have to point out something here. Nominations for BET/NAACP awards in all categories from 2001 to 2015 shows 47 total “white” nominations for all categories (I question Black Eyed Peas and 12 Years a Slave for “white” nominations when they have a token white person, but whatever). In the same time frame in the Academy Awards, in only 4 categories (Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress), there have been 41 total nominations for people of ethnicity. Now, let’s add all other categories and the nominations for people of ethnicity jumps an ADDITIONAL 93 people. So in the same time period (2001-2015), BET/NAACP awards have nominated a TOTAL of 47 “white” entertainers, with 7 winning, and the Academy Awards has nominated 134 people of ethnicity, with 33 winning those nominations.
    White people winning a BET/NAACP is roughly 15%
    Ethnic people winning an Academy Award is roughly 25%
    Huh, interesting statistics here. So, you say that “white” nominees have a higher chance of winning a BET/NAACP award than an ethnic person does of winning an Academy award? I wonder then, how is 15% higher than 25%?

    • The problem with your math is that you are only comparing number of nominations nominations to number of wins. To look at the true chances of winning, you’d have to look at the total number of possible nomination slots. It is pretty obvious that the Academy Awards have a much longer list of categories in comparison to the BET Awards, leading to a much higher base number of possible nomination/win slots.

      In a lot of ways, that is what makes the disparity that much more egregious. This shows that even though we should celebrate the 33 wins, minorities have far less access and presence within the film industry as a whole.

      • Angry

        Very well, then. How about we limit it down to just the four main categories. So, in the same time period, out of 41 Academy nominations for just Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress, there were 9 ethnic individuals that won.

        Ethnic people winning an Academy Award in only the 4 main categories:

        roughly 22%!

        So, again, the chances of a “white” winner at the BET/NAACP awards is still significantly lower than an ethnic person winning one of the four main categories at the Academy Awards.

        Now, don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in total equality, both sexual and ethnic diversity. But there are no “White Entertainment Television” channels (and I am no country boy, so don’t even try to say CMT is the “whites only” channel!) Though, I think WET is a great acronym for a channel, I think the wrong kind of broadcasting would end up on such a channel.

        What really makes me angry is that there are even channels like “Black Entertainment Television”, or any segregated anything that is specific for an ethnicity, as that is a form of racism and segregation that was fought so hard to abolish, yet is being promoted from the other side now. The complaint that a person of ethnicity is not winning Academy Awards is disappointing as it comes down to who is doing the nominating: NOT THE PUBLIC! The people are nominated by their peers, which means making it a public issue is irresponsible as the public has no say whatsoever on the process. This is an internal issue that nobody in the public has control over. Also, if you want people of ethnicity to be nominated, then maybe they should take a hard look at the roles they choose. For example, anything “Medea” is not really Academy material, and playing a million roles in the same movie (aka: Eddie Murphy) is not going to go anywhere if the movie is horrible in the end.

        I really think that Will Smith, Jamie Fox, and especially Chiwetel Ejiofor are FANTASTIC actors, but it comes down to the role and the movie in many cases, and the nomination/voting is heavily dependent on their peers. Granted, the entire process is broken (“The Martian” for best comedy? REALLY?!?!), a more direct conversation with peers needs to take place to address the issue, because nobody else can fix it other than their peers.
        But, if people of ethnicity want to complain about the disparity, they also should check the numbers on their own specific awards and understand there is also a reverse disparity, yet I hear no complaints from those that are not of ethnicity… Just saying…

        • To cherry pick just 4 categories doesn’t really prove anything. I could just as easily pick a different 4 and say “See! No black winners”, but that wouldn’t prove anything either. That’s why I tried to be inclusive of all categories for each show.

          However, the larger point that I am illustrating with the numbers is that “mainstream” caters to whiteness, but BET, an outlet built with the sole purpose of servicing black people, still highlights and awards the efforts of whites. This disparity shows that those finding fault in BET for being “discriminatory” are patently false.

          I too wish that outlets like BET weren’t needed. But they are. They were born out of the fact that you’d be hard pressed to find entertainment that featured black faces or spoke to black people anywhere else. Minority award shows don’t complain about low levels of white nominations because the award shows aren’t for them. As problematic as a FWO (For Whites Only) tv channel or awards show would be, I also don’t think that minorities would be upset about not being included. However, it is a problem when we are not included in award shows (like the Academy Awards) when those are not supposed to service a specific demographic.

          And sadly, this continues to be a problem. Yes, the Academy nominates the candidates, but the Academy is overwhelmingly white. Yes, you listed a number of great actors, but how much more difficult is it for them to score an “award bait” role than their white peers? This is the real problem. I blame the public for demonizing outlets like BET. I blame the industry for perpetuating a white ideal. And for more metrics on this issue, view the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA Diversity in Hollywood report:

        • GAWZ

          Mixing statistics and semantics creates a complicated web. Since the advent of TV, the Oscars have been over publicized, we’ve been oversaturated with the “look at me” rich celebrities and most of us have a disdain for the event. Remember MTV 25 years ago when it was still worth watching?

  • Aaron Mic

    Interesting the way that this article starts out on the defensive; and even points the finger at one person in particular for reasons unknown…. “All the racists and their token black friends (cough Stacey Dash cough) keep telling us that we shouldn’t be upset about”.

  • puckrogers2

    Weak defense. really…. But to each his own…Fun to watch, great music but if you are looking for diversity vs tokens, best to change the channel….period.