Stephen Hill Sounds Off On BET 2011 Award Nominations Drama
Trina wasn’t the only one throwing the side-eye. Diamond
shouted her out on Twitter, and even Nicki Minaj criticized the
nominees. Does that concern you at all? Stephen Hill, BET's Executive Vice President of Entertainment & Music Programming sounds off on the drama surrounding the BET 2011 Award Nominations. You know the one that saw Nicki Minaj as the only known rapper in the Female rap category. Celebrities quickly took to their twitter account to voice their discontent. Keyshia Cole, Trina, Diamond and even Nicki Minaj. Check out Stephen's thoughts below.
Why wasn’t Trina nominated in the Female Hip Hop category?
Okay, that was because Trina didn’t submit a video that was in during the eligibility period. Let me back up. To be eligible, here’s what you have to have: a video that’s submitted and then first played on BET...between April 1 of one year and March 30 of the next year. So for this eligibility period it would be April 1 of 2010 to March 30 of 2011. She did not release a video to us in that time. “Million Dollar Girl” came in March. I think it was March 12 or so of 2010. And so she was in last year’s nominees for that. While she was featured in Lola Monroe’s video, the rules are you have to release a video of your own. You have to be the primary artist on it. You can’t be just the feature artist and be eligible. So that’s why Lola Monroe was eligible but Trina was not for this year because it came out this year. So I’ve reached out to her camp. I’ve talked to the head of her label. And actually the only reason I might get off this call is because I may be getting a call from Trina while this call is going on.
No, no, honestly. Because they were all operating off of false
information basically. They all believed that Trina was eligible to be
nominated. I love that. They were supporting each other. Far too many
times in hip hop people want to tear each other down or not support each
other. So even though it was at our expense, you have all these women
supporting each other in the hip hop field. So hopefully people will
feel better once the truth comes out, once they realize that there was
no eligibility there. But absent that, if them not knowing the rules
fostered some camaraderie, I’m all in.
The drama with Nicki Minaj and the lack of female hip hop artists....
In the female hip hop category, there is one very strong nominee and
three others who are not as prominent. Why not just have a best rapper
award and let Nicki Minaj compete against the guys?
Here’s what I think: We have this category as an aspirational category.
Right now, there are very few women who put out hip hop videos. I will
share with you: How many women do you think presented hip hop videos to
BET in the eligibility period?
Based on the nominees I would guess four.
You are correct. Exactly four. So when your nomination level is five,
everyone who submits a video is nominated. Now people might want to
laugh at that. But I hope the same people who laugh at that realize that
they were the people who were upset when that category was taken out of
the Grammys. Right? Everybody was up in arms. So we’re going to keep it
in. You know why? For the same reason that we aired My Mic Sounds Nice
last year. It’s to hopefully encourage women. That show should have been
one big hour-long ball of encouragement [for women] to start writing
rhymes and call themselves MCs and start down that path. We’re going to
keep this category in the show even if there’s two nominees. If there’s
no nominees, we’re gonna keep this category in the show because one day
down the line it’s going to be filled just like the men.
Really? Even if there are no nominees?
How would that work?
We would have that category there if nothing else just to make a point.
Just an empty nominee slot?
I gotta tell you, I hope it’s never empty. I hope the success of folks
like Trina and Nicki and Diamond and Cymphonique and Lola will encourage
women to pick up a pen. Like I said, let people laugh, but we’re fully
behind women in hip hop. It wasn’t just about My Mic Sounds Nice. It’s
about this, and all the energy we’re getting around this… Hopefully in a
few years people will be arguing because there were too many people who
were vying for the spot.
And the drama with Breezy...
Speaking of movies, I’ve seen a few bloggers who have questioned Chris Brown’s nomination for Best Actor. Any thoughts on that?
My thought on that is as follows: We assembled the Academy. We try to
make it as varied as possible. But when the Academy comes back with
their results—again, it’s not any of our individual shows—that’s the
decision we’ve made, to trust the Academy. When they come back with a
decision, we stick by that decision.
What do you think of Stephen Hill's explanation of events behind the scenes at BET?
Date Submitted: 5/21/2011 3:49 PM
PostedBy: Single In The City
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