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Gay, Trans TV Personality Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against BET, Viacom - VIDEO


B. Scott, a media personality for Black Entertainment Television, filed a discrimination lawsuit last week after an incident that allegedly took place during the Red Carpet pre-show of the 2013 BET Awards on June 30th. The alleged discrimination centers around Scott's pre-approved choice of wardrobe for the live event, which apparently did not sit well with producers. In Scott's own words, via an open letter posted on his website:

"After interviewing AJ Calloway for my first segment I was literally yanked backstage and told that my look from head to toe 'wasn’t acceptable.' They asked me to pull my hair back, they asked me to change my attire. Let’s be clear, I wasn’t wearing a ball gown and stiletto heels. I was wearing long pants, and a long shirt. I was returned to my trailer and forced to change into one of the other outfits while other producers waited outside. I changed quickly and returned to set, only to be told that I had been replaced by Adrienne Bailon and wouldn’t be going on at all."

0807-b-scott-bet-getty-7The letter goes on to describe how representatives from Proctor & Gamble, one of the event's key sponsors, urged producers to allow Scott to return to the red carpet. They finally relented, but still only allowed Scott to return to the show in a significantly "diminished capacity". 

Scott, who identifies as both gay and within the trans spectrum, discussed the incident with both the Washington Blade and MSNBC's Thomas Roberts. “I have had experiences before where people have said and treated me in ways that I felt was because of my gender expression and/or my sexual orientation,” he told the Blade. “What’s different about this case or the situation was that it happened before a live audience. It happened in front of all of my peers.”

BET, not surprisingly, released a statement characterizing the incident as "a series of unfortunate miscommunications from both parties". It went on to state that:

“BET Networks embraces global diversity in all its forms and seeks to maintain an inclusive workforce and a culture that values all perspectives and backgrounds. We regret any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community and we seek to continue embracing all gender expressions.”

Scott remains unsatisfied with the network's response, and called it "a slap in the face". 

“Everyone has a right to express who they are on the inside or the outside. I’m fighting for that right for people to be who they are and not to be ashamed of it and not to be ostracized or taken advantage of or abused for it or discriminated against. This is about the people who don’t have a voice.”

You can see B. Scott's interview with Thomas Roberts AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. This entire debacle was so ridiculous - why would BET hire B. Scott if they didn't want B. Scott on their red carpet??

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 14, 2013 8:48:32 AM

  2. Sounds fishy...plus the 3 million for pain and suffering sounds like a cash grab.....drugs??

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Aug 14, 2013 9:29:13 AM

  3. maybe if they asked him to put on change the outfit and put on some talent this never would have happened.

    Posted by: jake | Aug 14, 2013 9:32:51 AM

  4. The interesting part of this entire case is that B. Scott had already appeared on BET before, so they knew exactly who B. Scott was. I agree with the lawsuit. They need to not only preach about diversity, but create a culture in their company that practices and truly believes in diversity.

    Posted by: THurts | Aug 14, 2013 9:52:32 AM

  5. It is rare that anything good comes from associating a business with transgender. It doesn't help BET's brand and dealing with a "trans woman" inevitably is going to bring strife and hostility. There is a reason that transgender continues to be found in the DSM V under both a disorder and a dysphoria.

    Posted by: Serene | Aug 14, 2013 11:57:42 AM

  6. Serene, you're on the wrong forum. Please troll elsewhere.

    Posted by: Joel V | Aug 14, 2013 12:11:00 PM

  7. Hmmm, diversity (in BET's case) sounds like a one-way street...very tea-party/wingnut conservative.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Aug 14, 2013 12:13:15 PM

  8. Why is it that Trans stories always brings out the worst in towleroad's commenters? I swear the most unapologetically prejudice comments are always posted on Trans stories. Don't you vile trolls have any sort of decency?

    Posted by: MateoM | Aug 14, 2013 12:53:26 PM

  9. the outfit looked pretty tacky-maybe they just didn't like the look. B Scott got her/his apology-case closed

    Matoem-I think many gay people-myself included-don't/can't associate with a trans person-they are just as foreign to us as they are to straight people-the "T" was thrown into the gay rights cause when it truly is something else-maybe a little resentment...

    Posted by: Nathan | Aug 14, 2013 1:04:22 PM

  10. "There is a reason that transgender continues to be found in the DSM V under both a disorder and a dysphoria."

    I think he has a valid point, nothing in his statement was trolling, the entire remark by Serene was factually accurate.

    If you want to support Trans people, a great deal needs to change if you expect the general public's acceptance. And one can hardly educate the public on the topic when the DSM has defined Trans people in the manner it has.

    Maybe activists need to start there.

    And for the record, I've personally known, worked with, and socialized with several trans people over the years that I love and respect, and do not treat any differently than I treat anybody else.

    If I were to say anything about Trans people as a generalization, I'd say they are notably warmer and kinder than the general public.

    Maybe that's why they don't get the kind of PR everybody else does.

    Posted by: JakeInNYC | Aug 14, 2013 2:07:54 PM

  11. I think it's important to note that trans people have, throughout the past, been lumped together with LGB people. Gender nonconformity includes the idea that men are attracted to women and vice versa. It's only more recently, with the advent of actual medical interventions that allow trans people to transition, that the distinctions between LGB and T became more pronounced.

    And, for the record, studies have found that around 2/3 of all people who transition are LGB.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Aug 14, 2013 2:40:17 PM

  12. @Serene: B. Scott identifies as a male, not female. Just wanted to clear that up.

    And stop being such an ignorant bigot.

    Posted by: Just Come Home | Aug 14, 2013 3:58:38 PM

  13. My comments reflect what I genuinely believe. I am not a "troll."

    There are very real concerns about the consequences of transforming gay people into a new hybrid "people" called LGBT. Among other things, it warps gay and lesbian identity and confuses the public into thinking that LGBs are some sort of gender-conflicted group or perhaps a "third sex."

    DrDonna is correct when she notes that decades ago people used to lump homosexuals in with crossdressers and transsexuals (not to mention a variety of sexual criminals, fetishists and even communists). The gay movement was all about educating people so that we could move away from those stereotypical beliefs. Why would we want to undermine all of our education efforts and now promote the very associations and beliefs that reigned in the 1950s? LGBT isn't progressive. It is reactionary and hurts LGBs as well as Ts.

    MateoM, that is why you may see hostility when there are trans stories posted here. LGBs understand when they are being misdefined against their will.

    Posted by: Serene | Aug 14, 2013 4:00:34 PM

  14. TheDrDonna, "trans" people includes vastly more than transitioned transsexuals. Trans people, as trans activists define them, are no more likely to be LGB than any other person in the population. In other words, they are overwhelmingly heterosexual. LGBT is a means to hijack the gay civil rights movement and put it at the service of heterosexuals. You focus on a tiny sub-sub set in order to evade that fact.

    As for transitioned transsexuals, while a higher percentage may identify as LGB at the time of surgery, they identify as heterosexual over time. But even if that 2/3 number, for which you offer no citation, were right and even if it stayed constant over time, that still wouldn't justify LGBT. A disproportionate percentage of florists, flight attendants and residents of West Hollywood are LGB. That doesn't mean that the LGB community now has to incorporate into its identity every person who works as a florist or flight attendant, nor does it mean that the entire population of West Hollywood forms "one people" with LGBs.

    To the extent that there are Ts who are also LGB, then they are part of the LGB community. But that is because they are LGB, not because they have a gender disorder or dysphoria.

    Posted by: Serene | Aug 14, 2013 4:12:18 PM

  15. If you are wearing women's clothing and consider yourself a gay man (not a woman trapped in a man's body), aren't you basically a cross-dressing man? A CD?

    I don't get the "trans" part of this guy's schtick. If he is transitioning to a woman, why does he keep self-identifying as "he, him, his" instead of "she, her, hers"?

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 14, 2013 5:43:15 PM

  16. JOHNNY,

    Not all Transgender folks are Transsexuals. And many many Gay folks (men and women) are androgynous in their appearance ON PURPOSE--they are Gay but they also fit under the umbrella term of Transgender.

    I was one. ...was no where near as pretty as B. Scott though.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 15, 2013 10:10:04 AM

  17. Derrick,

    No, "many many" gay people are not transgender. You just want to think that because you were. Misery loves company.

    Posted by: Oz | Aug 15, 2013 12:04:06 PM

  18. @ "No, "many many" gay people are not transgender. You just want to think that because you were."

    They were. You were just to scared to come out on the streets to see us.

    @ "Misery loves company."

    Hell, those years were the happiest of my life.

    Any viewing of "Paris Is Burning" proves me right.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 15, 2013 12:13:08 PM

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