Beneath Low: BET, Lil Wayne Set the Stage for Child Pornography

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Beneath Low: BET, Lil Wayne Set the Stage for Child Pornography

By April R. Silver, June 29, 2009

www.aprilsilver.com 

AprilSilverLast night, live at the BET Awards in Los Angeles, a room full of head-bobbing, consenting adults bounced to Drake and Lil Wayne’s back-to-back performances of the hit songs “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl.” I watched, underwhelmed. I wanted more “Michael” in what was supposed to be this award-show-turned-Michael-Jackson-tribute. I watched, ever puzzled by the Lil Wayne phenomena that has captivated the music industry. I watched, wondering when the set was going to end. 

Then the little girls came onstage…literally the little girls. “Are those children?” I asked out loud, in disbelief. Then the camera panned the audience. Everyone was still head-bobbing as the little Black girls huddled around these superstars. 

“Are those little girls on stage…for this song?!?!” I, still in disbelief, lost breath and forced myself to exhale. “Why are these little girls featured on this performance? Is somebody going to stop this?” Again, the show was live, though for a nano-second, I was hoping that a hunched-over stage manager would bust through from back stage to scoop up the children, rescuing them from harm’s way…from being associated from this song. But instead, what those girls witnessed from the stage was hundreds and hundreds of adults (mostly Black people) staring back at them, co-signing the performance. These girls, who all appeared to be pre-teens, were having their 15 minutes of glam on one of the biggest nights in televised Black entertainment history, with two of pop culture’s biggest stars at the moment, with millions of people watching. They must have been bubbling with girlish excitement, shimmering like princesses all night. Pure irony: one of them wore a red ballerina tutu for the special occasion. And we applauded them. 

  

I’m told that one of the girls is Lil Wayne’s daughter. That doesn’t matter. In fact that makes it worse. Last night we were reminded that there are few safe spaces for our little girls to be children; that some of us are willing to trade their innocence for a good head nod. BET and Lil Wayne are beneath low because, in effect, they have given premium assurance to these and other little girls that their best value, their shining moment, their gifts to display to the world, all lie within a context that says they are fuckable. 

I’m also told by industry insiders that Lil Wayne was continuously sexually molested as a child, remains in a psychologically abusive relationship with the molester, and for that reason his understanding of what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate for children is terribly skewed. I don’t know if that is true. If it is, help is needed. If it is true, it might explain something regarding Lil Wayne’s compliance in this offense. But what about BET’s nickel in this dime? 

BET President and CEO Debra Lee has come underfire over the years yet many see the network as one hell bent on showing the worse pathologies of Black people

BET President and CEO Debra Lee has come underfire over the years yet many see the network as one hell bent on showing the worse pathologies of Black people

The programming at BET has been heavily criticized by artists, concerned citizens, college students, parent groups, social justice organizations, media reform activists, and many others for over a decade now. Their programming seems hell bent on broadcasting the worst pathologies in the Black community. Some have joined the anti-BET movement by simply tuning out. Others have been more pro-active. National letter-writing campaigns and other activities designed to shame and/or pressure the network into improving its programming have been in play for some time now. Boycotts have been called as well. Two years ago, for example, the network found itself in the line of fire as it planned to air the very controversial series “Hot Ghetto Mess.” Advertisers, such as State Farm Insurance and Home Depot, responded to pressure and requested that their ads be disassociated with the series (though, their ads could be placed in other programming slots). None of this has made a difference. In fact, it seems to have emboldened the network, for it is now expanding. In the fall, BET is due to launch another channel.

 

But millions of Black people are not offended by the network and welcome anything BET has to offer, no matter how much it continues to unravel the fabric of our community. Imagine, if you will, BET as a human being and the viewers as the community. You would have to imagine BET as a drug dealer, with his swag on…perhaps outside standing atop a truck, the community crowded beneath him. Imagine him throwing nicely wrapped gifts into the crowed, or giving away turkeys at Thanksgiving. Or maybe it’s Mother’s Day and he buys dinner and teddy bears to all the single moms and grandmothers around the way. Despite his best efforts and despite the approval of his fans, he is still a drug dealer, pimping death to the masses. 

Proverbs is full of sacred text that teaches us that there will always be fools amongst us. Some of them will be highly paid, protected, and given world-wide platforms to show off what they do best. And these fools (be they performers, corporate executives, or others), will have fans and loyal supporters, and a place to call home, like a BET. 

But as long as there will be fools amongst us, there will also be wise ones – a small group of people concerned about the long term health and well being of the community. This small group will often go unheard and they will be outmatched. They will struggle over which problem to address first: the child pornographer, the batterer, the pimp, the prostitute, the thief, the slumlord, or the system that enables it all. They will get tired and their defense will pale in comparison to the almost crushing offense. And they will be betrayed from within. Historically and universally, this is what happens in the struggle for what is right. But eventually, with continued pressure, something will shift. A radical new thinking will emerge, and the fools will lose their stronghold.  

The sure expectation of victory, however, can not be understated. It is a concrete ingredient in the struggle against the death that is being paraded in our community…as necessary as letter writing campaigns, economic boycotts, symbolic and actual protests, and other pressure-oriented activities. It is indeed possible to bring more life into our community.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

As a social entrepreneur and activist, my entire life/work has been dedicated to standing up for what’s right, especially within the culture of hip hop. When identifying what cancerous elements exist within the Black community, many fellow activists agree with Chuck D (of Public Enemy), and even Aaron McGruder (of The Boondocks), when they targeted BET as one of those elements. That said, I didn’t think that we would ever have to take the network to task for what amounts to child pornography. 

Lil Wayne shocked many with his performance at the BET Awards when he allowed little girls to come on stage

Lil Wayne shocked many with his performance at the BET Awards when he allowed little girls to come on stage

But did no one care that Lil Wayne’s song Every Girl is about grown men and their sexual escapades with women? Did the meaning and intent of the song matter to anyone, this song whose hook and other lyrics required a re-write in order to get air play? “I wish I could love every girl in the world.” That’s the radio-friendly version of “I wish I could f–k every girl in the world.” But Lil Wayne’s BET performance was the clean edit of the song. Perhaps he (and the show producers) thought that there was nothing wrong in featuring the children in the clean version. Perhaps we were supposed to see the whole bit as cute and innocent. Absolutely not. There’s no other way to cut it: in presenting little girls in a performance of a song that is about sex, group sex, and more sex, BET and Lil Wayne set the stage for child pornography. It doesn’t matter what version of the song was played, much like a man who batters women is still an abusive man, even if uses flowery phrases while battering.In the song, Lil Wayne mentions superstar Miley Cyrus, but Cyrus gets a pass on this lyrical sex escapade because, as he acknowledges, she is a minor. Huh? Why, then, is he comfortable with featuring four minors, these four little Black girls, in the show? How deep exactly is this inability of some men to respect women, and how deep is Lil Wayne’s disregard for the safety of little girls? 

Comments

  1. Hmm. Lil Wayne n child porno. BET lowering the standards of our community to nothing shit, Lil Wayne lowering our standards. It’s like a limbo dance, how low can you go? No revolutionary fire in anything, in fact, that is something people have been dodging for some time now. See what you get when you settle; if you don’t kno where you are going, any road will take you there.

  2. I could not agree with you more!! There were too many elements of the BET Awards, beyond (but, definitely INCLUDING) Lil Wayne’s performance, that were absolutely embarrassing. For a production to be billed as a “tribute” to Michael Jackson, I thought the program missed the mark in significant ways – from Jaime Foxx’s irreverant hosting to the overly sexual content of some the musical performances.

    I long for the time when the Black Community will demand more from those in control of broadcasting our images. Thank you very much for your commentary – it was on point!!

  3. I also found this really bizarre and was discussing with my friends. I won’t comment on the quality of lack thereof of the performances–I’ll just say for all its big, big problems, Drake and company did seem happy to be there at least–but the pre-teens surrounding Drake and he stayed close to a stool was baffling. A really messed-up homage to MJ? A reference to his handicapped character he used to play on ‘Degrassi’?

    Anyways–the inclusion of the kids was in poor taste for sure. Additionally, it seemed to be an explicit marketing of Drake to a young audience. Notice how he stayed separate from the rest of the more aggressive Young Money Crew…Drake and his label or management etc. using and distancing themselves from current hip-hop. An implicit sexualizing of pre-teens AND an explicit use (abuse?) of them as market signifiers–“Drake is for the children”.

  4. I agee ! I wrote BET a letter in response to the Drake & lil Wayne performance,as well as the new Black Embarrassment TV series “Tiny & Toya” which looks to take US to even lower lows.

  5. @brandonsoderberg – in an interview after the award show, Drake stated that he tore his ACL which is why he was stool bound for his performance (i don’t know if many people saw him limp off the stage during Baby and Wayne’s part of the performance)

    the inclusion of children on stage during that performance is appalling, point blank and what’s even more appalling is the fact that there was no visible outrage in the audience during the performance. the fact that no one put a halt to those kids appearance on stage speaks volumes

  6. You all are a bunch of haters! All just a bunch of fake conscious haters. Let that man do his thing, let BET do it’s thing. You act like youre all high and mighty but knowing damn well you wish you could be Lil Wayne.

  7. @ Brown: When you outgrow childhood, you’ll understand.

  8. I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICED THIS DURING THE BET AWARDS! GOOD TO KNOW THERE ARE EDJUCATED MINDS REPORTING ON THIS ISSUE.

  9. I have been bitching about this for days. Come on folks, we have to love, protect and respect our youth. This was HORRIBLE. Followed the next day by the rape of the little girl by the Baltimore mass transit officer. WTF? Then we wonder why there is so many cases of abuse, molestation, broke homes, prostestution etc.. We have failed our children. Moving from the hood was not enough.

  10. wish we were LIl Wayne.. naww.. sounds like you like him a lot and u wish u were him..

    Abused and molested as a child, hooked on drugs and cough syrup…naww, i’ll pass on being him…

    if you only observe the surface thats all you will see, have you not noticed that those so called stars are some of the most mentally challenged and messed up folk.. money does not buy happiness and for many its the opposite, especially when you come from the hood, the challenges become great, friends hanging on, poor money management skills, etc, just ask the many black “stars” who have come across money and fame and had it alter their life forever, lets see, MJ, Mike Tyson, MC Hammer, DMX, Suge Knight, Mystikal, Shyne, C- Murder, etc, etc, etc and those are just a few.. dead and alive

  11. @ Brown – WOW. NO ONE wants to be Lil Wayne, but folks with weak constitutions. (Look it up)
    Grow up, MAN up, and realize that this IS real life NOT some wanna be fake fantasy life that you are imaging for yourself. Your comment is almost as stupid as saying, you want to be in a gang.

  12. @brandonsoderberg – I could not agree with you more. Live or NOT. All the swearing (half the song was bleeped), children strutting around on stage like hoes, and the father of one of the children in the center. WOW. Debra Lee and the staff continue to embarras us. We should call for her resignation immedidately. Someone has be accountable. If this is BET (Black Entertainment TV) Blacks folks are tired of the images being protrayed. We are better than video hoes, gang bangers, killers and thugs, but we have become too comfortable being protrayed as that ONLY. We keep measuring Blackness by how Ghetto or HOOD you are. STOP.
    I enjoy the images of President Obama on stage with his daughters, that should be the standard.

  13. @brown – NAW, bru!! I’ll pass on being Lil Wayne. Don’t make the mistake of equating having a fat bank account with having intergrity. Lil Wayne has the former, but I’m not seeing the latter.

  14. April Siver left no room for debate or dialogue. Like the sharp, focused, powerful Woman she is, she eliminated any logical argument for this perverted sideshow. I totally co-sign her statement. It should be on the cover of every newspaper in this country and around the world.
    Bro. Ernie Paniccioli

  15. You guys are fucking idiots. Always looking for drama and trying to cause a scene. Stop over-reacting and writing stupid articles and hammering BET. Find something more important to report and complain about. Like the Iranian protests….

  16. @ Heather. You are the idiot. We are merely commenting on our disgust of the level of negative programming and intentional miseducation of our African American youth.
    What my children see on TV here in America is alot more important to me than Iranian’s protesting what happens in their country.
    This is a music website dedicating to discussing entertainment issues as well as politics.
    If you want to discuss Iranian politics go to the Iranian Embassy and march until your shoes disentegrate !

  17. BOYCOTT BET..
    BET embodies the glorification and glamourization of EVERY DESTRUCTIVE FORCE in the Black Community. Morally – BET has always been BANKRUPT.. I am deeply SADENED by their influence on young america.

    YES>…BET is a strong corporation.. BUT THE PEOPLE ARE STRONGER.. STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT! Down with the BET BULLSHIT

  18. Thank you April for again delivering what we need to hear. Sadly, the comments on this very page demonstrate just how much work needs to be done. Something is very, very wrong with our current cultural space.

    When I was a child, all I wanted was to be like the girls in the videos. I had no idea that they were women of ill repute or women being abused. I’m GROWN and still trying to shed what was imprinted in me through entertainment. These performances are subtle, powerful endorsements of illicit behavior and an abused path. I know what is like to model the wrong behavior. I don’t care how entertaining some of you find it – these moments ruin lives.

    Again, April, thank you.

  19. Thank you for this article. You definitely covered all the things that have been burning me up regarding this performance for the past couple of days. At what point do we stop accepting the view of our asses hanging out as acceptable? I was embarrassed. When others see us, what do they really see? Is this the modern day minstrel? Do others see BET as a barometer for the norm? I surely hope not. I’ll be glad when BET finally steps it up. Until then, I won’t be watching.

  20. April’s comments are insightful, on point, and warranted. Not a day goes by that I am not embarrassed to be part of an industry that co-signs more and more extreme behavior! BET has always been a joke–and the fact that people of color
    (or anyone for that matter) continue watching it and hoping for the best is an empty dream. I, for one, had high hopes for Wayne back when I did that deal of ownership for Cash Money. They could have been running this shit–instead, they just became shit. Sad….

  21. Lucy Van Pelt says:

    It was very weird to see the little girls on stage. I didn’t get it.

  22. Demetrius Gauvin says:

    I am glad to know that I was not the only one shocked by the L’il Wayne performance. I could not believe he had those little,(and I do mean little) girls on stage for a song with those kind of lyrics. I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he said, “These kids are gonna hear the music anyway”. That may be true, but I still feel it was wrong for those babies to be on stage for that type of song. And to Brown let me say this; This term “hating on” is really getting played. Can’t a person have a difference of opinion without being labeled a “hater”?? Grow up!!

  23. It’s a shame to see what BET has become. I am 32 and I remember at 12 and 13, BET was not this way. I have since stopped watching and don’t allow my children to watch the garbage on that channel. Those who talk about us “hating”, maybe you don’t have children or your parents failed you as well. this can not be tolerated by us and does not set a good example for our youth. Having an all black channel should be a, and was at one time,a huge accomplishment for our people. Now it showcases women as whores and idiots and men as even bigger losers and womanizers. How can we expect our youth to know the truth about God and live by the bible if on the same channel show “something” about God, then the night before “Uncut”? I know I was influenced heavily by entertainment and am still shaking that mess myself, so I hear you Dee. BET is no longer showcasing the upliftment of our people but how to be whores, baby mamas and baby daddies and not mothers, fathers, husbands,and wives. I think BET has moved out of the village that’s needed to raise a child.

  24. P Williams says:

    I’m proud to say I did not watch it.

    Those of you who DID see it don’t really seem surprised: why is that? How often do we turn on Flava of Love or College Hill or some other reality show waiting for the trainwreck of other folks’ real life to *entertain us?*

    That’s not my cup of tea, and so I choose to watch none of the madness: BET, American Idol, I *heart*NY, The Bachelor, awards shows… NONE of it. I don’t even watch it so that I can complain about it later; I just don’t find it entertaining.

    Suggestion: If you find a network or genre continually disturbing, DON’T WATCH IT. The Advertisers will “get it,” and the Nielsen Ratings will “get it,” and eventually the media will “get it.”

    Watch it, but then complain…? More publicity for BET.

  25. What’s the use of complaining if you aren’t going to do anything to get RESULTS?? If you are unhappy with the BET Awards, you blogging about it wont get results, it’s just stirring the pot. Write a letter to Deborah Lee, start a petition to let BET shareholders know how you feel and what direction you feel their channel is going. One letter can move mountains. Unfortunately, the show was taped LIVE … Lil Wayne’s entourage made the decision to pull the “children” onto the stage, perhaps they knew an adult would look at them and turn their heads.. should BET have done more editing and not include their performance? Or should they have stopped the live taping and told them “HEY NO KIDS”… you can’t blame BET for what happened on that stage, however BET can let their entertainers know what their expectations are, and hold them accountable, fines and etc. (Bobby Brown flipping his tongue in and out of his mouth was a bit much also, do we fault BET for that?) but to call out BET as if it was done deliberately is not fair at all. BET was the host they can’t be responsible for the actions of adults that should know better!

  26. You all have fallen off the deep end on this one…Now I am a DJ, a musician and a man of God and as Black people we have got to stop tearing down our own people. Now I’m not saying those songs are good for young girls to hear…But every time Lil Wayne is on an award show, whether he is winning an award or performing, he brings his daughter and her friends on stage with him. None of yall know this man or what he goes thru and if he wants to incorporate his child in his moment, he has every right to. Some of y’all probably wish you had a father who would take you to work with him…if people spent as much time raising their Own children as they do complaining about what some artist or network does, then maybe our youth and our society at whole would be better served…No one complains when VH1, which is the new BET by the way, all the shows that they know black folks will complain about go to VH1 to avoid the scrutiny, portrays us as coons, bafoons and attention happy hores, but instead we want to bang the drum on our own station, one of the only places we have as an outlet for entertainment…and notice the key word there its just entertainment…let’s not take this stuff so literally people and like P Williams said, if you don’t like it, then don’t watch!

  27. Wow! i commend each of us to generate communication about such a important issue. As a mother of four children and a black woman youth advocate and more I personally don’t watch BET. Their programming would have to be remade from top to bottom with (PBET) POSITIVE BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TV with genuine reponsibility to the BLACK COMMUNITY as their Mission. My kids cannot watch it and surely I don’t endorse it. They should have so much more children interactive shows created by black entreprenuers we are out there!
    The programs could be more about our aspirations and like our positive accomplishments such as Obama and his family and many more achievers are out there.
    It’s not a lack of positive vibration programs why they have choosen the path they have but the limitation of pea size minds that running the upper management.
    Here is the deal if you don’t watch they don’t have a channel. So you are the audience that has given them the power! Take back your POWER and see them become powerless!
    Love and Blessings is needed throughout the entire team of BET.

  28. I just want to know how WE all know they were underaged? and is not LiL wayne’s record company called Young Money…?

    Secondly…BET is only an outlet….if we as a people do not support the things that we see or give people a reason to make the things that we do not condone there would not be an issue.

  29. @ P: BET has lawyers and PR staff to defend itself. If you are on their team, man, you are soooo overpaid!

  30. frank talk says:

    Thanks April for the article. I was with Gordon Keith the other day, who is the man credited with putting the Jackson Five on the big stage. He showed a Gary Post-Tribune news paper that had at least 5 articles on that day that dealt with child abuse. BET should go the way of VIBE magazine and disband. What is also so insidious is the substitution of the word “love” for “fuc*.” Let us not forget that Akon & Snoop pulled this same craziness a few years ago with “i want to fu** (love) you. And we wonder why Afrikan Women are over 60% of the new so-called Hiv-Aids cases!

  31. Jazzy J says:

    Ok! so….it was weird…but if you noticed even Lil Wayne was not comfortable with the little girls, he sat on the floor infront of Drake and did not even really acknowledge them….he looked uncomfortable….it looked more like those girls were for Drake in order to make him a sex symbol for young women, and he was the only performer paying any attention to the girls, and the girls as well were not even being sexual or coming on to the two men, they were dancing….And in regard to their outfits…….That’s how kids are dressing now a days….a Cyndi Lauper type style……I think we have all grown up with some “OFF THE WALL” type stuff…..I say leave em alone……sounds like folks just want something to HARP about!

  32. Man we’ve been saying this stuff abut BET for more than a decade! The only thing that is changing about BET is that it is sinking lower and lower. We as viewers can bitch and gripe all want. There is no objectivity on BET. We as black people are so caught up being “fans” that we can’t call it for what it is. Those people in the audience we saw bobbing their heads are actually fans of this music. The journalists are starstruck fans. The program directors are fans. The parents are fans. The “celebrities” are fans. A bunch of people with a yes man mentality for superstars. You know what would get BET’s attention more than some angry emails and blogs? What if the celebrities and others with INTEGRITY (not sure who they are) said point blank, “We will not be associated with anything BET does. Awards show or not”? Don’t appear on the shows, don’t do interviews, don’t fuel the machine. If there is no one to watch on BET people won’t watch BET. The problem is, if there was integrity in the music/entertainment business we would not be having this conversation.

  33. And lets not forget they never really hire any black women for their TV shows. Racially ambiguous chicks rule at BET. No beautiful and smart obviously Black women for our little Black girls to see on a network called BET.

    Too many things wrong. Too many.

  34. Greg Hairston says:

    A comment said for us to stop hating on Lil Wayne. We have now dumbed down what we call entertainment. When it is all said and done, it will read…..the 60’s The Sound of Motown……The 70’s Funk and disco and the Philidelphia sound……the 80’s The Minneapolis Sound…..The 90’s New Jack Swing and Neo -Soul…2000 + the Stripper Era….. No talented, not even a classic has come out. Just quickly forgotten little tones and half assed acts like The Dream and Trey Songs and T-Pain. The sad thing is that T-Pain is actually very talented. But is burning out his sound. Autotune is used for non-singing mucks posing as singers. Do what i do, my TV skips over BET because I have deleted it off of my TV. Since Robert Johnson left BET has fallen so far off course that people now accept that this is good entertainment. Its not, just like the projects ( a failure in and of itself) BET has succumbed to leaving the trash in the yard instead of cleaning it up. It has become ghetto instead of giving hope for someone to escape the ghetto. This is the PORN ERA. Everything looks cheap and whorish. Our women think they are cute and they really look ridicoulous. And the Young brothers now don’t even have a clue on what it mean to be a real man. They act so hard and have this don’t disrespect me attitude when they have no respect for themselves. With thier asses hanging out. I’m only in my early 30’s. But somthing has really gone wrong in the past 10 years. We were known as the people of class, now we are the people of trash.

  35. I totally agree. Many of my friends rarely watch BET, but because of the tribute to Michael decided to watch. Facebook has blown up with anger toward Lil Wayne’s performance. Yet, he always wins awards. So, what message are we sending out to him. One day we are going to hear that he has passed and it will be his fans faults because they love to watch him act out his drama on stage. I have heard that his mentor molested him, so what he codes as normal many of us do not. I am not just concerned about the tweens on the stage, but the condition of Lil Wayne altogether. Many of our artist die in front of our eyes while entertaining us. NO matter how much we protest that crowd that worships them and supports them make our views null.

  36. incorporate his children into his job? are you kidding? his line of work is inappropriate for his children to be a part of. would you tell a stripper to bring her children to work?
    goodness….

  37. ’nuff said. This garbage is polluting the Black community across the globe as BET gets picked up and shown in the Caribbean and Africa and Brazil and other places. Young boys are emulating these self-hating idiots in style, form and behaviour. It has to stop.

  38. Hey, BET could instead be showing “3 Strikes” or “Baby Boy” instead of this so-called awards show…ROFL!

    I haven’t had the time nor patience to sit through many of BET’s programming. I, too, decided to give them one more shot in watching an advertised MJ tribute…as you can tell with these posts and the show itself, is it any shock that this is what we get?

    Like a few posters mentioned, the music is recycled and short-shelve spanned to even take notice. Like with other things in this country, its cheap sex and quick cash on the airwaves. BET, MTV, and VH1 (Viacom) don’t even play videos that much anymore. Just straight up “reality” (damn!) and gutter!

    As far as black programming, TVOne is about the best you can get at this point. At least with that channel, I can sit back and actually watch instead of the usual SMH moves and remote grabbing…

  39. Standing O, April Silver.

    What you said about the “clean” version also goes for letting your children become fans of pornographic rappers by letting them listen and dance to the “clean” (not hardly) versions of pornographic songs or to the few truly G or PG rated songs by “artists” who routinely create pornographic music.

    It’s like letting your kids become a fan of a current, active pornstar who decides to make one or two non-porno films, or worse, letting your kid watch a porn film with the sex scenes, nudity and profanity edited out. What makes the leftover flirting and sexual innuendo appropriate for children?

  40. S. Watkins says:

    I am so glad someone shared my sentiments about the fact that those young Girls were on stage dancing to that song, how very inappropriate. I was shocked and still in disbelief that it happened. I watched the Awards show again the next day and that entire performance as well as some other inappropriate things that occurred during the show have been edited out. I commend BET for dedicating the show to Michael Jackson and Honoring his Legacy but I wish it would have been done with more Class. Lil Wayne should not have been allowed to perform any of the songs he performed. The Stay Strapped performance was just as bad as the Every Girl In The World performance. I heard profanity several times which wasn’t bleeped out and the N word as well, how embarrassing. That’s not the way to Honor Michael Jackson. As Minorities we all need to raise ourselves to a Higher Level and exemplify dignity and respect for ourselves, each other and our culture, not just BET, we all do.

  41. I looked, did a double-take, then turned the TV off. It bothered me all night…I couldn’t sleep. I woke up the next morning, wrote a scathing letter to Debra Lee, and felt marginally better.

    But I was still bothered by the image of the audience, no one brave enough to boo and say something.

    Children who were waiting in the wings while Lil Wayne spat the UNEDITED version of song (what really was the point of a radio-version chorus??)

    God help us.

  42. I am a 33 year old mother of 3 and my husband and I have eliminated BET as a viewing option for over a decade now. I see the quality of Black Entertainment continues in tragic downward spiral. We watched the BET awards only because of the tribute to the Legend Michael Jackson, but soon found it to be disturbing and intolerable. Enraged and disappointed once again by the poor Characterization of us Black People. BET has, must increase in the quality and standards of Black Entertaining or It must Go.

  43. I don’t count on or would be looking forward to bet changing up programming quality anytime soon, many have seen and many have ignored during the boogie period of the 90’s aka the trick 97 period, it forstered a negative imagine of black america, what u are seeing now is those negative fruits from the trick 97 error/era come to bare, that’s it and that’s all!

  44. I understand where you’re coming from, April, but this column is a thinly disguised “this is what’s wrong with black people” rant. I’ve read plenty of them and I’ve ignored them all; I’m responding to yours because I think you made the best points.

    However, to suggest that “hundreds and hundreds” of people were applauding is a little unfair. First of all, you’ll always find applauding people at a live performance. Second, I happened to have watched the performance twice that night (it was worse the second time) and the applause seemed to be pretty quiet and subdued when it was all over, just like Beyonce singing Ave Maria in a bathing suit (which I noticed you didn’t address).

    Additionally, to use people in a live audience and then put their behavior on all of us is terribly unfair. If you use the internet (Twitter, chat rooms, message boards, etc.) as a gauge, you’ll see that Lil Wayne’s performance was almost universally condemned. Everybody I know was shocked and disgusted, and even embarrassed.

    Those are just small issues, though. I agree with most of what you said. I want to give BET the benefit of the doubt and PRAY they had no idea that Lil Wayne was going to perform that song. For goodness’ sakes, SOULJA BOY was more respectful than that!

  45. One other thing: it’s possible that, like me, a lot of people in the audience weren’t really paying attention to the lyrics. The first time I watched that performance, I was so busy being overwhelmed by the suck that I didn’t even notice what was being said. It wasn’t until I heard it the SECOND time that I realized what was being said (well, in between all the bleeping and whatnot). So it’s *very* possible that a lot of the clapping in the audience can simply be attributed to people listening to music in a live setting – and if you’re not familiar w/the song, “love all the girls in the world” plus dancing children on stage really doesn’t seem so bad. My mother has it BAD about liking horrible songs with catchy beats; because of said beats, she rarely pays attention to the words. It’s absolutely maddening.

  46. @ Jennifer: C’mon, sister, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. BET is a huge production. It is not a new player, it is a corporate entity, and its moves are all calculated for maximum effect. The event took place days ago and they haven’t issued any statement. Now unless you get paid by them, it is not intelligent to try n defend em. They have lawyers, public relations agents, and other professional personnel to plead their case. If people are disgruntled, their only platform is a space like Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner. The people here do not have a 24/7 outlet cranking out a product on whatever level we want. We like to identify with BET because it has the word “Black” in it, however, more and more people begin to realize that just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  47. Give it a FU*king Break~ says:

    That was his daughter and her little friends…Who are we to judge and tell this man what to do with his child? She probably wanted to be on stage with daddy… SHE IS A LITTLE GIRL? I think people are twisting this into something that it should not be twisted into… MEDIA-in all forms can be POISON- including this article.
    Its nothing wrong with discussing what happened on the awards show but damn???
    Some people are really taking it to the extreme and so angered b/c he allowed his daughter to be on stage with her friends..
    Come on… this is sooooo lame..
    Thats his daughter, if thats what he wants to do then MIND YOUR FU*KING BUSINESS… “stop” before you are the next to go into cardiac arrest A$$holes…

  48. to the idiot above me: (G.I.A.F.B.) the simple fact that you can’t see anything wrong with lil wayne singing “I want to fuck every girl in the world” in front of his 10 year old daughter, takes you out of this mature conversation.
    Go sit down somewhere and read a book !
    That’s the problem with kids being raised by kids, NO PARENTING, and you can no longer distinguish RIGHT from WRONG !

  49. dumbsteppaz says:

    i just watched the award show to see what everyone was talking about and the show i saw had no children on stage.wtf?so im not sure if it is edited or what but i didnt see anyone on stage wit wayne or drizzy

  50. Katrina says:

    Totally agree!

  51. TaShara says:

    everyone keeps saying these little girls…these little girls..ok wayne didn’t make them get up there and dance, no chains on their legs..no gun to their head..parent…consenting adults responsible for protecting and deciding what is appropriate for THEIR children let them get up there…they made a judgment call…obviously the wrong one, but the parents made it…all the heat can not go on lil wayne alone…we need to start putting blame where it truly belongs.

  52. fucking YOUNG MOOLA says:

    I don’t know why you guys are talking about this fucking show
    and if i my ask did lil wayne kiss any of the girls in the show ?if not leave ma gang niggar alone.what about adding his own daughter what’s your problem about HE and HIS kid on stage.
    FUCK Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AND DON’T TRY TO BE A HATER A$$HOLES

  53. K-Legal says:

    April – you are completely accurate on this one – 100%

  54. Idk Where u got him being in close contact with a molester and molested from. and thats beyond the point. when u write ur suppose to stay on topic right. What Does molestation have anything to do with being on stage. We don’t know lil wayne. he could be doing it for his daughter. she could of asked… Open up your horizen and don’t say it stand up for it. i don’t see any standing up so u mine as well stay down

  55. When they perform, you always want more… Very entertaining..for those who don’ t like them,,well,,,that’s your taste,..but some people just get the enjoyment they want..

  56. Howdy, great, this is top notch stuff, i enjoy it allot.Cheers

  57. Im a child myself, and I totally agree with those who find this as a failure. Yeah, definetly child pornography, And who else noticed that drake had his arm around one of the girls and was actually looking at her in a…. weird way??? How can the audience just stand there and sing along?? What did the girls’ parents do? This is some screwed up crap. I guess the song is true, EVERY girl in the world…

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