Social media lit up with mixed reactions following the BET Award’s “In Memoriam” segment on Sunday.
The tribute honored a slew of celebrities that were lost over the last year including the late great Andre Leon Talley, Traci Braxton, and Virgil Abloh. At one point, the tear-inducing segment took a political stance, honoring a number of victims lost due to gun violence and the historic overturning of Roe V. Wade.
Roe V. Wade was brought up several times during the show including by Jazmine Sullivan who encouraged men to speak out and “stand up,” against the controversial ruling.
“I want to speak directly to the men: We need y’all,” Sullivan said while accepting her Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award. “We need y’all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us. If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing. This is not just a woman issue. This is everybody’s issue. We need your support more than ever.”
However, some viewers raised a few eyebrows when Roe V. Wade was listed during the in memoriam segment and additionally when Kevin Samuels’ image appeared during the touching montage.
Back in May, the controversial dating guru died after he was found unresponsive on his living room floor. Samuels gained over 1. 4 million subscribers on YouTube from his polarizing relationship advice often geared towards women of color. The infamous image consultant grew popular for publically shaming women about their dress sizes and sparking heated discourse on misogynistic topics like why “Women Should Let Men Use Them.”
On Twitter, some fans criticized BET for including the controversial YouTube personality.
“BET putting Roe v. Wade and Kevin Samuels in an “in memoriam” segment was the idea of someone who is extremely online and needs to touch grass,” wrote one Twitter user.
While another person slammed the network for omitting the names of the victims who died in the tragic Buffalo mass shooting.
Some social media goers defended BET’s decision to include Samuels.
Some Celebrated Kevin Samuels’ Inclusion In The In Memoriam Segment
One person tweeted:
“They hated Kevin Samuels just for preaching accountability and the lack there of, but he’s trending and being honored at The BET awards for his honesty. He always said “the world doesn’t owe you understanding”. No one else is responsible for your choices and risks.”
While another user praised the late social media star for how he “coached black men and women to focus on their brand, image, and skills.”
“The way the internet plays with his legacy is hilarious to me,” they added.
Social media users weren’t the only ones frustrated with BET. Lil Nas X boycotted the awards ceremony this year because he felt snubbed by the network after his name did not appear in any of the nomination categories. The star released a new song called, “Late to Da Party” on Friday dissing the Black entertainment titan.
Last week, in a since-deleted tweet, the Grammy-award-winning pop star detailed why the omission stung in particular.
“I just feel like black gay ppl have to fight to be seen in this world and even when we make it to the top mfs try to pretend we are invisible,” he wrote, according to NPR.
His good friend/collaborator Jack Harlow wore a Lil Nas X shirt to show support for the star.
What do you think? Was it in poor taste of BET to include Kevin Samuels but exclude Lil Nas X from the award ceremony? Sound off in the comment section.