Bob Johnson Shows his True Colors: Green

Now a few years removed from BET, Bob Johnson  is a billionaire.  Years of showing booty shaking videos, a comedy show and a couple of social commentary documentaries really paid off for Johnson.  BET is now a beacon of Hot Ghetto Mess……
And now Johnson has sounded off in defense of the company that he created.  When asked about BET’s new venture, Hot Ghetto mess, Bob Johnson had this to say:
“As far as the ‘Hot Ghetto Mess’ issue, [BET President/CEO Debra Lee] has got the same problem that I had in that BET, for all practical purposes, is the only preeminent voice for African Americans in media and because of that it is given a greater responsibility and obligation by certain people that BET has to be a little bit ‘holier than thou,'” Johnson said. “We’ll let Jerry Springer get away with that or we’ll let Morton Downey get away with that or we’ll let the people at VH1’s ‘Flavor of Love’ get away with that. But when it’s black folks making the decision to do that, all of a sudden people start saying you can’t do that because you have a greater obligation. And then they go to advertisers and many white advertisers will head for the hills the moment they see themselves in the middle of a black controversial issue. They will stop, [partly] because they don’t really want to be on it; don’t value it; or they don’t know how to handle it.”
Johnson called the fallout surrounding ‘Hot Ghetto Mess’ a “knee-jerk reaction that has a chilling effect on creativity.”
“All of a sudden, creative people who want to tell stories or produce shows like ‘Hot Ghetto Mess’ are saying, ‘I don’t want to work on BET because they can’t doing anything that’s innovative or pushes the envelope,” he said. “I think that would be detrimental to creativity. I think it would be detrimental to the black community in allowing us to mature and let a lot of voices be heard.”

Okay let me get this straight.  Since there are coonish television shows such as Flavor of Love, I love NY and The Jerry Springer Show; there is nothing wrong with BET modeling their programming after these shows?  Uhhhh the reason why we wanted BET was to offset the lack of positive images and television programs on main stream telelvision.  

For Johnson to insinuate that black activist and bloggers who complained about Hot Ghetto mess will scare black artist from being creative proves that Johnson either lost touch or never had any sense of being socially responsible for anything on BET. If his definition of innovation and creativity is Hot Ghetto Mess, then no wonder BET had and still has crappy programming.  What in the hell was creative about Hot Ghetto Mess? 

What was BET’s excuse for “coonish” programming before Hot Ghetto Mess?

Johnson needs to keep it real; his main goal was to turn profits at the expense of marginalizing his own people.


2 Responses

  1. I’m disappointed in Mr. Johnson, mainly for lowering his own standards and allowing what once once a positive media outlet diminish into what it is today..Basically, the brother sold out for the sake of more profits.

  2. I’m not surprised about Robert Johnson. The funny part is that as a capitalist he can’t see that the brand of creativity he promotes and profits is one dimensional swill.

    BET and Robert Johnson as an executive producer seem to be reluctant to fund three dimensional, multi dimensional fascinating stories, ideas to counteract the
    programming that seems to celebrate the baser elements of our culture.

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