BET has released a statement in response to Lil Nas X’s recent diss track and allegations of homophobia.
On 1 June, the awards show – which celebrates African-American artists in music, acting, sports and other fields of entertainment – announced their nominations for the upcoming 2022 ceremony, which features stars such as Doja Cat, Drake and Chloe X Halle.
Despite having two of the most commercially successful tracks of 2021 with MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) and the Jack Harlow-assisted Industry Baby, both of which topped the Billboard Hot 100, Lil Nas X was snubbed.
“Thank you, BET awards. An outstanding zero nominations again. Black excellence,” the rapper tweeted in response, before providing further insight into his frustration: “I just feel like black gay ppl have to fight to be seen in this world and even when we make it to the top mfs try to pretend we are invisible.”
Following his tweets, the Grammy winner doubled down on his comments with a snippet of his brand new single, Late to the Party. In a video, Lil Nas X can be seen singing along to the song’s opening line, “F**k BET.”
In an additional tweet, Lil Nas X wrote: “This is not over no BET award this is about the bigger problem of homophobia in the black community, y’all can sit and pretend all u want but I’ma risk it for us.”
After a fan questioned why the star would care about the snub when he’s been recognised with two Grammy Awards, he said “this is my point exactly”.
“How can i get acknowledged by the most acclaimed award show in the world and then not even just 1 nomination from my own people? Is that not crazy?” he replied.
“Am i really tripping. ‘Industry Baby’ is the 2nd longest running #1 song on the Billboard rap charts of all time and didn’t get a single nomination.”
On 7 June, BET released a statement regarding Lil Nas X’s comments.
“We love Lil Nas X. He was nominated for a best new artist BET Award in 2020 and we proudly showcased his extraordinary talent and creativity on the show twice,” their statement reads.
“Unfortunately, this year, he was not nominated by BET’s Voting Academy, which is comprised of an esteemed group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers and creative arts.”
“No one from BET serves as a member of the Voting Academy. At BET, we are passionate advocates for the wonderful diversity that exists within our community. We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all of the many intersections of the Black community.”
With his debut studio album MONTERO, Lil Nas X achieved a third top 10 hit with the pop-rock single That’s What I Want. The video memorably contained a cameo from Pose star Billy Porter and paid homage to the Academy Award-winning film Brokeback Mountain.
The star hasn’t confirmed whether Late to the Party will be included on a re-release or if it’ll be included on a separate project.
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