BET Responds To Dr. William R. Harvey’s “The Quad” Criticism
After Hampton University’s President wrote a scathing 3-page letter denouncing BET’s The Quad, the network execs behind the show are responding.
As previously reported Dr. William R. Harvey was none too pleased that the show depicted HBCU life as a party-filled band-driven college experience and he pointed out the black excellence taking part at Hampton U that sharply contrasts The Quad.
“Devoid of any reference to academics, The Quad is about a president who is promiscuous, trustees who are unwilling to deal with a rogue band director, and a band director who condones criminal activity on the part of his drum major,” wrote Harvey according to HBCU Digest who obtained copies of the letter.
Debra Lee, the head of BET Networks has since responded and she says she’s spoken personally with Harvey to smooth things over. “It’s not representing any particular college,” said Lee. “We had a good conversation.”
“I talked to Dr. Harvey the other day and we had a good conversation. He started off by saying conversation is key, and I listened to him and he listened to me. I respect his opinion,” Lee said. “My point that I emphasized was that this was a fictional story. It’s not representing any particular college. Fictional TV has drama, you have good guys and bad guys.
We had a good conversation and I hope students, administrators and parents will take the issues that we’re dealing with on The Quad seriously and discuss them during and after the show, because we are dealing with serious issues that happen on all campuses, not just HBCUs.”
Similarly, Anika Noni Rose who stars in the series also responded to Dr. Harvey. The actress who attended Florida A&M University, notes that the show is fiction based on fact.
“I think what’s important when we’re referencing that letter is that this is someone who saw one episode and made a lot of opinions off of one episode,” she said. “The show is a fiction, but the show is a fiction based in fact. A lot of the things that we are dealing with and talking about are taken straight from the headlines of what has happened at schools,” she explained. “So to pretend that these things don’t happen is ridiculous.”
“It’s a drama, it’s not a comedy, so things are going to be larger than life. Things are going to be drawn out in a very different way, and perhaps the show is not for that person. But let’s be clear it is not a documentary,” Rose said.
Anika also added that if someone has a real problem with BET’s “The Quad” then they should turn the channel.
“If it’s not for you, turn the station.”
Do you think that BET’s “The Quad” is detrimental to HBCUs?