Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson, Jazmine Sullivan speak during the politically charged BET Awards: “F *** you, Supreme Court”

Janelle Monáe blasts the Supreme Court as she speaks at the BET Awards 2022. (Photo: BET)

Janelle Monáe blasts the Supreme Court as she speaks at the BET Awards 2022. (Photo: BET)

The BET 2022 awards took place on Sunday, days after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and revoked the reproduction rights – while at the same time extending gun rights to another controversial landmark decision. So, as the emotionally charged weekend came to an end, many of the award-winning presenters, performers and honorees used their understandable time on stage at the Microsoft Theater in LA to express their anger and disagreement.

Host Taraji P. Henson set the tone for the evening, thanking Lizzo – who opened the show with “About Damn Time” – for committing $ 500,000 from her upcoming Planned Parenthood tour (with Live Nation in this amount). “You’re right: It’s time to go our own way,” Henson said. “It’s time to talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman. It’s a sad day in America. “A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman who can give life, if she chooses it.”

However, no BET Awards participant expressed her anger as boldly as the ceremony’s first presenter, Janelle Monáe. After wishing the public a Happy Black Music Month and a Happy Pride Month and shouting “all the gays in the house”, he said: “These artists make art on our own terms, they have our truth and they express themselves freely and without apology. a world that tries to control and police our bodies, our mind-body, our decisions, my decision. ” She then murmured, “F *** you, Supreme Court”; her F-bomb was censored by BET during the live broadcast, but the gesture with her middle finger was clearly visible, so her message was not misunderstood – the which, judging by the thunderous applause inside the Microsoft Theater, was accepted.

Such feelings were repeated throughout the three-hour ceremony. Receiving her award for Best Female R & B / Pop Artist from Monáe, Jazmine Sullivan said: “As always, I do this for women – especially for my sisters. It is a difficult time for us right now. I want to speak directly to men: We need you all. We all need to get up. Stand up for us. Stand with us. If you have ever benefited from a woman making one of the most difficult decisions of her life, terminating a pregnancy, you must be by our side. This is not just a women’s issue. This is everyone’s business. We need your support more than ever. ” Minutes later, the winner of Best Young Artist, Latto, spoke in tears about “a man policing my body” during her own acceptance speech.

Towards the end of the night, the cast of the BET drama series Sistas “In light of Roe’s recent overthrow of Wade and the political events that are affecting our nation, it is time for the Sistas around the world to join hands and raise our voices. Hit these ballot boxes. We can not afford to be silent – not now. The power to make these decisions belongs to us. “

However, the strongest and most haunting moment of the TV show was the In Memoriam section, with the first victim in the editing being “Roe v. Wade”. The tribute then listed several celebrities who went missing last year, including Sidney Poitier, Biz Markie, Michael K. Williams, Andre Leon Talley and Traci Braxton, but was later cut short as hundreds of vague names appeared on screen. “In memory of all the lives lost due to gun violence.”

The evening of course had its lightest and most festive moments, although the happiest show was also a social statement. As Billy Porter took to the stage at a time when many feared that LGBTQ + rights would also soon be challenged by the Supreme Court, Porter’s tribute to ball culture – in Crystal Waters’ classic “100% Pure Love” and with dancers Dashaun Wesley. Shannon Balenciaga, Dominique Jackson, Shaun Ross and Kevin Prodigy – it was nothing short of a spectacular month of pride. “The class is the biggest night of civilization!” The Stand the star, twice Tony Winner and the activist roared. “We are here, we are queer – get used to it, my love!”

The BET 2022 Awards took place on Sunday, June 26 at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. For a full list of winners, click on.

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