Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Exactly what is black entertainment?

So I'm watching the BET Comedy Awards last night (okay, I was actually flipping... Commander In Chief didn't hold me) and I came across one of my favorite funnymen Mr. Paul Mooney. Paul rehashed his "Nigga Wake Up Call" 2005 skit for 2005; you see it brought down the house as the "Coon Awards" at last year's show. Lil' Kim, Oprah, Michael Jackson all got it from his militant, but brutally funny ass. He basically hit all of the recent snafus and transgressions that the celebs went through and let them know that it was their "Crash" moment (like Michael Brown blaming everybody else for FEMA's failures isn't our current "Crash" moment).

I'm sure most of us in the black blogosphere have seen the movie, so I won't wax poetic on the message that the flick relays about race relations in America today. It seems recently there was no other nomenclature other than "Nigga Wake Up Call" for those precious moments that we're reminded that our status as far as civil and human rights are concerned is pretty low on the totem pole by somebody that has a little authority and feels the need to remind us that someone else is in charge.

I know that we all serve a different master and the matter of who's in charge can be debated. I'm sure there will be an email (as usual) as to who actually controls the human condition, but I digress... Paul Mooney save his best verbal lashing for Miss Diva herself (as he called her) Diana Ross. Mooney dug up the drunken driving incident from a couple of years ago where Ms Ross was pretty damn drunk and was stopped by a police officer that stated that "she was incoherent and could not complete a sentence". Mooney (and I quote) said:

"She was so drunk, when the officer opened the door, she just fell out. She said (slurred speech) Do you know who I am? Yeah, you're drunk bitch and you're going to jail"

I laughed. It was funny, somewhat.

Wait, there's more. I didn't know about the cut segment. Diana's ex-husband and Tracee Ellis Ross' father recently passed during a mountain climbing trip. Mooney used an additional 3 minutes to joke about his death as Tracee sat in horror in the front row. She didn't sit there long. Reports have it that Tracee burst into tears and made her way to the back/lobby area because Paul's diatribe was too much for her to bear. To joke about celebrity mishaps is a way of life for a comedian, but to trample the emotions of a guest and nominee of the show by mocking her father's death is totally tasteless.

Now BET did cut the segment and did not air the things Paul said about Tracee's dad, but chose to run the jokes about Diana. Tracee did make her way back to the front row to attend the rest of the taping, and Steve Harvey (host of the show) came out a segment or two later and apologized to her for "jokes done in bad taste". He also complimented her on her strength and her position in black America as far as dealing with her parents issues and still coming out and putting on a good face to represent her show (which was nominated for numerous award categories).

Luckily, there was press backstage chopping game with award winners, and Lee Bailey caught up with Mr. Mooney and got a couple of quotes from Mooney and others:

"How can somebody get arrested for (being under the influence) and go to jail and I be over the top? I think that's over the top, don't you? Agree or disagree, folks. No, comedy is not over the top," Mooney said. "When you are a celebrity and you do crazy stuff, that's the game."

At that point Bailey asked him if thought about the fact that Tracee Ellis Ross was in the room while he delivered his diatribe against her mother.

"I didn't know ... her mama could've been in there, that's not the point. I didn't drive drunk," Mooney shot back. "Now I'm responsible for Diana Ross? If you scrutinize Jay Leno and David Letterman the same way you scrutinize me, then I'll agree with you, but if you don't touch them white folks don't touch me. They say what ever they want to say every night."

Was Paul Mooney wrong?

Was Steve Harvey wrong for apologizing to Tracee? (Some say he was for taking sides)

Was Tracee wrong for bailing out - Coming back?

Why was "nigger" and "motherfucker" used so much by the presenters and performers?

Is BET really "black" entertainment television? I swear, that's the first thing I watched on BET in quite some time. I can't stomach anything else.

Not even 106th and Park.

Oh yeah... Laylah tagged me and now, I regift you with this

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LadyLee said...

Hi Hassan,

I'm so disappointed in BET. There is more to black entertainment than what they portray. I like this new TV-one channel. I hope they don't become bogus like BET.

I didn't look at the comedy awards, but I heard about the incident you described. Such a shame...


MsTee2u said...

I cant stomach BET either...hated AJ (the braids, ick) and Free with that voice more irritating than someone scratching a chalkboard....i guess thats why i hibernate and try not 2 mingle much with the general population...*chuckle*

Chubby Chocolate said...

I stopped watching BET a while back. It's senseless and is also owned by the same owners of MTV, VH1 and some other channel.

Anonymous said...

Paal Mooney could have shown a little empathy. But as far as BET is concerned, when they let go of Tavis Smiley, I knew it would never be the same. I hate BET.

The Brown Blogger said...

ladylee - I just got a chance to check out TV-one and so far the results are okay. Nothing offends me there, kinda like a pre mid 90's BET (before the bling). There is another channel, BFC or the Black family channel, and they seem to be more like a network with original programming & other stuff geared to different age groups. I'll support those before I go back to BET.

mstee - Don't be anti-social. Stop. We need you. And what's wrong with AJ's locks? You know he took the high ground and now is working as a semi correspondent for Extra and MSNBC. He also owns 2 prominent clubs (and promotes the hot ish) in NYC. He'll be fine. We got a search party out for Free. She's revamping that album in semi-seclusion.

chubs - Google Shari Redstone, the new Vice Chair of Viacom (owners of CBS, MTV, VH1, etc) She is supposed to be handling the MTV2/BET thing in 2006. Her father, Summer Redstone cleared the way for change along with Mel Karmazin (former chair of Viacom). If you remember, they fired Tavis Smiley, got rid of BET News and gave us "Uncut" after purchasing the network from Bob Johnson in 04'. Should be an interesting 2006.

insane_in_the_membrane - It wasnt the same after Bob Johnson started looking for an out around 97-98. BET let istself go, and he let it get bloated and full of itself. And then sold it to you-know-who.

Me said...

It's certainly not BET... That channel just makes me sick. I watch the awards, but that's about it and I rarely do that. Just seems that everytime I don't, someone calls me in the midst like "did you SEE that bullshit?!" So I no longer want to miss the ignorance. That's probably sad... *thinks about that*