BET Finally Makes a Power Move for the Culture
So many times, I’ve watched BET and agonized over the content they’ve put out to represent the culture. Most of their series are mundane, their award shows have generally left me underwhelmed, and the lack of socially conscious material is embarrassing. See, BET stands for Black Entertainment Television. It is their obligation to be the representation for the people. The visuals shown on their network should be the epitome of the brilliance of black culture. However, in my opinion, it hasn’t upheld that responsibility. And, maybe it’s due to a lack of funding. Yet, you would think with all of the black voices of power in Entertainment and Media today that we wouldn’t let our network fall to such shortcomings. Especially, when there are tons of cultural representative content that I love to watch. From social media constantly proving that black people are some of the funniest and most creative people on the planet, to web series we relate to because they depict our struggles and identify black love. The genius that is within our culture allows me to not accept the content that has previously been shown on BET.
And then, after all the other failures, I started to see commercials of a black woman riding a black unicorn prancing around the streets of New York City telling mediocre jokes. With an eye-roll in my back pocket, I thought, what the heck was this? The answer, BET was advertising their new comedy/variety show, “The Rundown with Robin Thede”. I watched the commercial, I sat confused, and I flipped the channel. The simple fact that this was airing on the network BET made me miss the pure brilliance of it all. Because ironically, all of the greatness that is our black girl magic does indeed make us an anomaly that is not easily attainable. Metaphorically, we are black unicorns. Maybe, just maybe BET was onto something this time.
As I flipped through channels coincidently, I actually ended up seeing the show… and my perspective on BET was turned anew. “The Rundown with Robin Thede,” is a late-night show in which Robin gives her take on the week’s headlines in politics and pop culture. Similar to Jimmy Kemmel Live, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and now Trevor Noah. For me, this show is BET’s clap back to the extremely conservative Tomi Lahren show. Robin Thede is now giving us a black female voice in that arena. While I’m not saying I agree or disagree with everything she is saying, I am totally here for the representation! I believe her comedic antics provide a voice that our generation will relate to and listen to. Yet, her comedy by no means overshadows the essence of the show which is the integrity of her social awareness.
With this show, BET just made a power move for the culture. They finally hit the mark on a show that I feel insightfully represents our reality. While watching, I laughed. I was informed. It made me think. I enjoyed it. Matter of fact I think I loved it. And, I loved her! While I may not be sold on BET’s new show, 50 CENTRAL just yet, I do think “The Rundown” is a winner! Kudos to BET for trying to change their dialogue. I just hope as much as we celebrate and support the likes of a man, like Trevor Noah doing this, that we do the same for the female voice. With that being said, be sure to support and check out BET’s “The Rundown with Robin Thede.” And, let’s hope BET keeps up with this standard.
“The Rundown with Robin Thede” airs on BET Thursdays at 11 PM Pacific and 10 PM Central.