CEO Debra Lee Wants To Clean Up BET’s Image

BET hosts summit in hopes to improve their image
By: Taren Vaughan
Black Entertainment Television, better known as BET, has been around for many years. It has become one of the most successful networks targeted towards African Americans. But have the programs shown on BET started to become a little too scandalous?

During its earlier years, BET aired shows such as 227, Video Soul, Planet Groove, and one of my favorites Teen Summit. Even though BET still plays sitcoms like The Game and “Blackbuster” movies, some of the music shows have gotten out of hand. Gone are the days when video girls were covered up, showing off their legs at the most. Thanks to “BET Uncut”, viewers were getting a watered down version of the Playboy channel.

Thankfully, chief executive officer of the network Debra Lee has made an effort to change all of this. She recently took part in a gathering with other influential black women. Her inspiration to organize the summit developed shortly after the 2009 BET Awards. The group consisted of women from all different areas including non-profit organizations, politics and entertainment. The women were given the opportunity to discuss their displeasure with certain aspects of the network’s programs and make suggestions on how to improve them. Author Bonnie McDaniel attended the affair which was hosted by BET. Here is what she had to say:

“I’ve been invited to many events by BET, but this is the first one I have attended”

“I didn’t like a lot of the messages and images that were coming out. But we have the power to change that.”

McDaniel, like many other parents, did not want her child watching BET because the shows that they aired exploited black women and were sexually explicit.

Hosting this two day summit was a very great thing for Debra Lee to do. Hopefully, changes will be made to current and future programs aired on the network.

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