Posted: Friday – July 3, 2009
BET has expressed remorse over a performance by Lil Wayne, Drake and Young Money Records that involved underage girls during songs “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl.”
The songs, which have overt sexual references, were performed during the Sunday BET Awards ’09 show as a bevy of young girls danced on stage. The group of girls consisted of Lil Wayne’s daughters and her friends.
In an exclusive statement, BET has responded to the criticism and the public outcry over the segment.
“BET Networks deeply regrets the performance by Young Money at the BET AWARDS ’09 (featuring Lil Wayne, Drake, Gudda Gudda and Mack Maine),” a BET representative told AllHipHop.com exclusively. “Elements of the performance were unplanned and should not have happened.”
In the aftermath of the show, many have expressed outrage over the outing by Young Money, which was set amid a show dedicated to the late Michael Jackson.
Activist and filmmaker Byron Hurt lambasted the network earlier in the week in an open letter to Debra Lee, the President and Chief Executive Officer of BET Holdings, Inc.
“In a culture where one out of four girls and women are either raped or sexually assaulted – and where manipulative men routinely traffic vulnerable women into the sex industry – it is not okay that BET allowed this to happen,” Hurt said. “BET owes its entire audience – particularly girls and women around the world – an apology for its failure to intervene.”
A representative said generally the company has found such opinions useful.
“We value and appreciate the feedback from our viewers and have edited Young Money’s performance for all BET Awards ’09 encore presentations.”
Drake has apologized and taken responsibility for the performance, admitting it was in poor taste.
“That…was a terrible idea that I’ll never do to myself again. But I was being pressed from different areas to perform, and I think what really happened at the BET Awards is with the passing of Mike, the climate really changed, as far as the award show goes,” he told Complex. “I don’t think it called for us to perform “Every Girl” and “Always Strapped,” and I think it was an award show filled with tributes and music and these genuine heartfelt speeches. And to sort of climax out of a very tongue-n-cheek point, and then people misconstruing Wayne’s daughters and her friends coming out on stage — it was just timed very poorly and it definitely wasn’t planned like that, but with that being said, it is what is. I believe in Wayne and myself and it’s nothing we can’t bounce back from. To anyone who was offended, my personal apologies, it wasn’t intended to offend anybody.”
An edited version of the show will re-air on Monday July 6. The BET Awards saw a 61-percent increase in viewers this year fueled by the sudden death of Michael Jackson. Ten percent of all turned on television sets watched the show Sunday, a remarkably high number.