3 Reasons Why Black People No Longer Watch BET

Do you remember those days of rushing home to catch the latest episode of 106 & Park? I’m not talking about the episodes hosted by Terrance and Roxi, although both were fairly decent, but the AJ & Free hosted episodes that aired right after Big Tigger’s Rap City!

From its debut in 1980 all the way up to 2005, BET was once a channel that Black people had great admiration for. Today, however, it has lost much integrity. So much so that once faithful viewers are only left reminiscing of how it used to be. Although some may still enjoy the channel, here are five reasons most don’t:

  1. BET degrades the Black community


It’s obvious to see that the glorification of slutty behavior and gangsterism pretty much destroyed BET. Long gone are the days of promoting respectable black men and women who value each other. The channel is now oversaturated with mindless shows, degrading rap videos, and stereotypical movies.

2. It’s no longer Black owned


In 2000, BET was bought by Viacom for $2.3 Billion. Viacom is a media powerhouse that owns CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, and several other channels. This deal resulted in BET executives losing complete control of the channel’s direction.

Sheila Johnson, ex wife of founder Robert Johnson, says:

“I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don’t watch it… I’m ashamed of it, if you want to know the truth.”

3. Lack of appeal

BET is no longer appealing. The channel has lost its competitive edge and has resulted in showing re-runs of shows from other channels such as ABC’s Scandal. BET was also criticized for showing little to no coverage of the 20-year anniversary of the Million Man March. As a result the BET Awards lost over 1 million viewers.

  • The hell with BET..

  • B Yisrael

    BET died a looooooong time ago!

  • Jazz101

    The BET owners voluntarily sold BET to Viacom. The ex wife of the founder’s statement is irrelevant since they had complete control over who they sold it to. They put all blackness to the side for the love of money.

    • anan shabazz

      If bet didn’t sell it to Viacom, they would of got took one way or the other.

      • Jazz101

        Actually it wouldn’t have. They walked away billionaires.. You don’t become a billionaire over a failed company.

        • anan shabazz

          true but bet sold out to them is the worst part. blacks own no distribution company and bet was only one back then. they dont want africn americans opinion at all

  • 504 Soldier

    CET….Coon Entertainment Television

  • Jamal Warner

    I do not watch because it just is not appealing any more.It could re-invent itself by being pro-active in developing better shows. Not necessarily negative ones, but ones that show positive black images. Further, get back to the music. I remember music pretty much a large segment on the Weekend. It does not even play any music during the week.

  • djtorchMusic


    • Isis LaShawn Hardy

      Belligerent Exploitation Television or Buffoonery Exploitation Television. Yep.

  • Jeffrey Funderburk

    As long as VIACOM owns BET they’ll never develop or show positive black shows or role models. They’re about pushing an agenda that get’s us to spend our money with their advertisers and degrading ourselves to the lowest common denominator.

    • Chris Steward

      True but money talks. If we show we have interest in black positivity then we’ll see companies, white or black, invest to get our dollars.

  • venezolanatrini .

    As soon as they stopped being black owned and AJ and Free left you could feel the shift. Don’t understand why the channel had to sell out but it did oh well I stopped watching ages ago. ????

  • E

    It was 95% junk when Johnson owned it. Earnest Agnley and his wack as christian white man pimping PAID COMMERCIAL programming from midnight to 8 am. Just junk!

  • angry_mannn

    I take it the author of this article is at least 35. People always talk down on things that changed from when they were younger. Don’t forget you once were younger and older people didn’t like what you were into because of change. It’s just the cycle of life. Just accept the change.

    • Charlotte

      She’s 26

      • angry_mannn

        same difference

        • Charlotte

          LMAO! You’re right though, BET does appeal to 12-20 year old kids who don’t know any better

    • Joshua Drumming

      I’m 22 and I, as well as almost all of the 18-25 year olds I know, have given up on BET

      • angry_mannn

        well damn… that is bad for BET.

        • BoyWonder

          It’s that bad. I’m 25.

    • Che

      21. Tried to defend it for a while but it just got worse and worse.

  • James

    TVONE is MUCH better!!!

  • ChooseyNKC

    The real truth is that more and more people are giving up PAID for TV and once again enjoying the lifestyle of FREE TV. IJS…..

  • Stepney Garrick

    BET has some of the corniest shows. Not like Martin or The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. And during Black History month, they don’t show “the struggle.” But stupid gang banging movies and corney comidies.

  • Kevin Johnson

    It took me at least 5 years later to realize BET would never be the same smh. I remember when that show The Game first aired and how different it was from the ABC version

  • BoyWonder

    What about Vh1? I think they are the worst in black exploitation.

    • Chris Steward

      Maybe true but it wasn’t designed for black people. Bet was and for a long time showed a lot of black positivity.

      • BoyWonder

        Still it needs to be called out. I hear you though. Vh1 is stereotypical in every way preconditioning the mind as entertainment. That network changed too.

    • Keyfiddlers

      Its owned by the same company and ran my the same executives

      • BoyWonder

        That explains the agenda they are pushing. Even Black Lives Matter is a lil shady. #RBG

    • shawn

      It’s not Black Entertainment tho

  • “Respectable” Black people?

  • Carlette

    When I learned about Sis. S. Ali, Micheal Dyson etc…is was when they had the talk show about problems in our community… The sister that was the host had that salt n pepa style in her hair….. We had Donnie Simpson with the top 20 count down, and midnight love (my favorite). Once that went away, I never watch BET again! Btw I’m 40…..

  • Isis LaShawn Hardy

    I’m from the era of Teen Summit, HBCU Football Games, African American classic movies, Video Soul with Donnie Simpson and Sherry Carter, Rap City with Chris Thomas, BET News with Ed Gordon, Midnight Love. And before it was called Centric, it was BET on Jazz because back then, TPTB knew that jazz was a part of OUR culture and history and was appreciated. I was surfing channels one day and came across one of BET’s station ID spots and the announcer said, “BET, WE GOT YOU!” Ummm, no you don’t.

    • Samuel

      don’t forget video vibrations.

      • Isis LaShawn Hardy


    • D. Martin

      Me too….I am with you.

    • sebastian spencer

      Not to mention my favorite show on there, Tavis Smiley. I learned a lot from that show and it was good seeing the real side of successful black people.

      • Isis LaShawn Hardy


  • sebastian spencer

    Yep I got rid of BET when they took off the midnight love portion with old slow jams and Tavis Smiley. Remember Donnie Simpson use to say, “Shoot for the Moon, and even if you miss you’ll be among the stars”. Yeah…

  • Jerrikoh

    I just realized the other day that I didnt have it save in my favorites and didnt really care.

  • First of Lena you look fine af, second BET promote segregation, they hypocrites,an wanna-bee’s. I havent watched BET in years, just lost interest when they censored movies like wtf stupid, no more music after dark like wtf and then VH1 came out with Flava of Love hahahha, seriously i never looked back.

  • Nunya Biznys

    This article would be improved with imperical data such as BET’S latest polls or ratings.