Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shame On BET

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I watched BET's College Hill - Atlanta last night and was personally offended by what I saw.

I know what you're saying: anybody silly enough to actually watch something on that network deserves what they get. I'm already embarrassed to admit to tuning in, please spare me a lecture.

I'm sure I'll catch some flack for this, but I'm used to saying things people don't always agree with. This is no different. The socially disengaged will say I'm "doing too much". The apathetic will say that it's just a show and that it isn't that big a deal.

Reality is, it's not like I ever gave a fuck about them in the past, so why start now?

Anyway, BET once again squandered an opportunity to send a progressive message directly to the prototypically homophobic black community it claims to exist to serve. It's not like this isn't their pedigree though. BET has shown what kind of cloth it's cut from in the past.

If you didn't see the show, consider yourself lucky. For context's sake, there was a some speculation that Dorian, one of the house mates, was gay. I thought the show was going to take the high road because the girls' reaction to the speculation was that it wasn't really that big a problem. Dru, the house mate expressing the concern, disagreed and called for a male-only meeting to discuss the issue.

A conversation between Dorian and Dru, the homophobe, went something like this:
Dru: Dude, you cool people. You seem like an alright dude, but I gotta know...

Dorian: You gotta know what?

Dru: I just gotta know, shawty.

Dorian: The answer is definitely no. Somebody already came and told me what you were wondering.

(here's when I really wanted to vomit)

Dorian: It's cool though. It's a common misconception.

Dru: So people always ask if you're gay?

Dorian: Yeah, no doubt. I'm used to it by now.

(here's the kicker)

Dru: Oh, alright, shawty. I just needed to know.

Dorian: Oh,'s cool.

(Dorian starts shucking and jiving and trying to be all buddy-buddy and shit. You know, the gay version of cooning...homo-ing?)

Dru: Yeah, sorry for being cold before...I just didn't know.

Dorian: Yeah, I was wondering...

(the two dap up and walk off into the sunset being BFFs and shit)
Seriously consider the messages that sends to the people who watch that program.

Somewhere, some little gay boy was watching this at home in his momma's nightgown and playing with his Barbie that's how I survive in "the life". To get people to play nice in the sandbox, I have to either be completely OK with being wrongly accused of faggotry and being treated like a fucking social pariah by those very peers who incorrectly perceive me and my behavior or subjugate myself by denying my sexuality all in the name of being "one of the boys.

Now think about what that says a young homophobe. It's totally cool to convene a fucking public interrogation to inquire about what someone does in their bedroom. It's not just OK, "it's cool" because "I just had to know, shawty."

Well, fuck that and fuck Dru for being a smug, homophobic bastard. Fuck Dorian for not checking those dudes when they approached him with that tomfoolery and fuck BET for airing this shit.

I'm so sick of American media doing this shit.

BET could have stressed to the impressionable youth and adults who elect to watch the crap it spews that not only is it cool to socialize and live with people who may subscribe to different beliefs and ideology, but that it's absolutely expected in life and that turning their personal life into a public spectacle is a no-no. I'm fine the sitting down and talking and airing an amicable solution. I just think it was BET's responsibility to impart a progressive lesson along the way.

I'm glad Dorian dealt with that though. Better him than me. If Dru had come to me with that bullshit, the conversation would've gone a slightly differently.

My ass would've been sent home after the second episode.


Anonymous said...

1. BET sucks!
2. Homosexuality is not going to be accepted by everyone.
3. There is no "progressive" lesson here. This sounds like gays have a hidden agenda to start some gay "conversion" thought processes of heterosexuals. Spooky!
4. We have to remember people have their right to free speech to voice what they can and cannot handle. If this young man can't handle being around a gay person, that is his stance. Who are we to challenge that? Who are we to say he is wrong for expressing his freedom of speech and actions of not being able to be around gay people?
5. The key lesson is mutual respect. Just because someone don't condone homosexuality doesn't mean they are homophobic. Likewise, heterosexuals shouldn't "taskmaster" gays because they are different.

Lastly, BET cannot teach morals when they have none of their own!

That Dude Right There said...

Although I did not watch the show, I am glad that you reported on it. But I must disagree with you. It's a good thing that BET broadcasted the conversation just as it happened.

This just lets us know that we still have a long way to go. Our own Black folks need let go of prejudice and remember that even though we are gay, we are still Black.

As far as Dorian, he handled the situation as he wanted to. He may or may not be homosexual. That's up to him to tell us if he is or isn't or he can keep it to himself.

And Dru is just being your typical Black man. He may or may not be homophobic. We don't know.

But now I will have to tune into this show to see what happens, now that BET has suckered you into advertising for them.

fuzzy said...

The episode was on the tube while I was reading blogs last night. Ummm I was like what is going on and I said "mmmmm" and kept on reading my blogs. Oh well... But american media needs to up itself from the crap that is aired on tv now!

Mr. Jones said...

Captain - BET does suck. I conceded that. And you're right, the lesson should be respect and acceptance of people. I'm not asking the network to suggest that everyone should condone what everyone else does. Just don't make people think it's ok to march people to the firing range only to call off the squadron when they submit.

TDRT - This is a chicken versus the egg argument. BET needs to show the convo as is to illustrate how far gay black males have to go to shed the 2nd class citizenship within our broader community, but if those are the only images shown, how will the cycle ever get broken?

Fuzzy - Yeah. A mess.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTION: I said mutual respect- there is a stark difference. I never mentioned anything about accepting people.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually comment, but I must put in my two cents on this one. I agree with you Mr. Jones, this is some bull. And Captain, I must take a stance against your statement:
'Who are we to challenge that? Who are we to say he is wrong for expressing his freedom of speech and actions of not being able to be around gay people?'

Who the hell is anyone to not want to be around gay people. I ask this question of my peers, friends & family - Why do you care so much about who I choose to sleep with? Why do you make it my business who cuddles with me after the lights go long as it isn't you.
That would be akin to a white castmate saying that he didn't want to be around a black castmate, we'd be all up in arms over that.

Self-hate is the worst kind!

sorry this got long.....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: I agree to a point. However, in the show, living in close quarters and being in close proximity, this could be a matter where this guy may not be able to handle this type of situation. We have to MUTUALLY respect the person AND their space and moral withstandings in the process.

RocaFella07 said...

I didnt catch this yet.

But, ALL I have to say is:

- Dorian punked-out and didnt stand up for himself!...Not just as a SGL male, but as an ADULT male.

- Do you see this kinda shit on "The Real World"???


PRIMO said...

Just Watched The Episode And All I Can Say Is:'

1. It's BET. A Station that is supposed to be Black Entertainment But is trying so desperately to be MTV.

2. Anthony Is FINE!

Cocoa Rican said...

Either I'm missing something or some folks are just total asses...what does being in close proximity of someone deem that you have to change your sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. to make them comfortable. Outside of Dorian sticking his dick in Dru's ass against his will, what the fuck does Dru care if Dorian likes sucking some dick on his personal time? Let's keep it real here. As was said earlier, if this was a race issue we'd be horrified and up in's not okay and quite honestly, condoning this kind of bullshit is what keeps us spinning our wheels. Don't submit, don't back down, don't shy out, be proud and demand to be respected. It's the only way folks will realize that it's not okay. I wonder what would've happened if Martin told Rosa she should've just sat in the back and shut the fuck up...where would we be?

Anonymous said...

I accidently watch the show as I was pacing for a trip. I have watch previous seasons of College Hill and thought that this was a different take on the gay issue where in the season that they were at VSU they had a openly gay cast member and the male house mates didn't have a problem. But it interesting the in Gay-lanta the house mates would.
Dorian, I believe may have shuck and jive, but have we all not at one point and time ourselve and still do in some setting.
Being that we all know that there are some nasty ass stunting queens out there why not as the simple question are you gay so in the future additional problems don't arise or thought pop in the other dude head and tension arise and then a fight pop off.

Not everyone can be on TV being the Gay MLK and we shouldn't except them to be. The Dorian dude is still in college and has his professional future to look out for why have doors close on you before you can make your mark in your career. Who ever any of us decide to sleep or have relationships with is our own business. And just because someone is on a reality tv show, Why can they have there own business?

I would have been mad at the show if they would have can at dude all sideways and twist. But the did in a decent way and no voice being rised. But we do know there will be some ignorance to come!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Rican- Study the effects of culture shock.

Mr. Jones said...

Anonymous - Good points.

La said...

fuckin BET

It's hilarious to me how it's ok to broadcast someone who may or may not be gay get essentially bullied into not speaking his mind in an effort to keep the peace but...

you had BEST believe if this was another show or a rap video showing 2 girls going at it, it would be ok. Even fashionable. "My girl got a girlfriend" is a new hip hop movement, no?

The double standard is both ridiculous and irresponsible.. but this is what I would expect from the Uncut network

Brittany_83 said...

New to your blog.
I saw the episode (don't let anyone
I was mad when they showed the picture of the " so called gay" guy on the wall. BET tried to make fun of it and portray the guy as a punk. Made me mad. Glad you addressed this.

yet another black guy said...

i don't like ANYONE enough to watch BET.

Mr. Jones said...

La - Agreed

Brittany - good points. Thanks for stopping by. Come back often.

YABG - LOL...i guess.

kennyking78 said...

I don't get why people get all up in arms when the gay thing rears it's head. I find that the most accepted social constructs are very homo-erotic in nature. Take organized sports, for example. All of those big guys, in matching outfits, bonding in physical ways, often bathing together and patting one another on the behind. Short of sucking one another off on national television, I don't know what else could be more gay.

Don't even get me started on fraternities and their hazing, firefighters and their sleeping arrangements, police officers and their buddy system, or the military and its undertones of homosexuality.

Being homosexuals only makes us weaker if we buy into it.

Nuttin_Nyce...... said...

Hmmmm....I saw the episode and i'ma leave it at that but i will say Mr. jones I agree with you... better him than me cause shyt would've went south real quick...

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