Black Entertainment Television
Black Entertainment Television (BET) is a cable network geared toward blacks and/or urban audiences. It programming ranges from reruns of old sitcoms and movies to reality shows to rap and R&B music videos (sometimes censored for content) to Christian programming. It is run by Viacom, parent company of MTV.
Entertainment and music
Most programs on BET are entertainment type, hence the word "Entertainment" in the channel's name. A significant amount of airtime is devoted to showing rap and R&B music videos. Other programming includes but is not limited to reruns of cancelled primetime series with black lead roles and third-rate movies. While most programs on BET are geared toward older audiences, there are occasionally more family-friendly content such as reruns of the early 1980s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and Cosby Show spinoff A Different World. On Saturday mornings, the children's shows Just Jordan and Romeo!, from sister network Nickelodeon, are rerun on BET.
Mornings from approximately 4:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. (Eastern Time Zone), BET broadcasts various Christian preachers in a block titled Morning Inspiration. On Sundays, the network shows other types of religious programming, including gospel music.
BET has run into much criticism from African American activists, who claim the channel perpetuates harmful black stereotypes. The hip-hop videos shown on BET have been known often for containing misogynistic, materialistic, and/or violent themes. Network executives claim to censor out excess profanity or sexual content from videos, though.
References and notes
- Fabrikant, Geraldine. BET to Establish a Film Unit Aimed at Black Urban Market. The New York Times: July 13, 1998
- Lee, Felicia R. "Protesting Demeaning Images in Media". The New York Times: Nov. 5, 2007
- Eggerton, John. "PTC, Enough Is Enough Campaign Take On MTV, BET. Broadcasting & Cable: April 9, 2008