Why BET Jumped The Shark

A few years ago, there was an article floating around the internet showing a list of BET’s supposed "DO NOT PLAY” artists.  Everyone from Little Brother and A Tribe Called Quest to Bahamadia and Mos Def appeared on it with a blurb about these artists not appealing to the wanted BET demographic. According to the info, these hip hop artists are over the heads of the viewers between the ages of 12 and 19 which is who BET primarily markets to. I never knew whether these claims had any validity whatsoever so I never shared them before but I did notice how pretty much anyone without a typical “rap narrative” didn’t seem to be played on the network anymore. The same themes of sex, mounds of cash, partying, fancy cars/clothes, drinking and drugs have been repeatedly force fed to the viewers of the videos shown for years now with nearly everyone who's been around for more than 8 years being viewed as old and washed up. I’m the last person to criticize people who love sex, excessive money, partying, material items, drinking and drugs but the lack of balance when teens is their aimed demographic is just disturbing. And one dimensional programming is harmful to everyone in my opinion. 

So I stumbled upon this video footage of David Bradley, an ex-BET-producer explaining the process and why the programming really changed over a short period of time. It’s eye opening to say the least.

Sonny JamesComment