Sheila Johnson, co-founder of BET, had a few concerns about Oprah Winfrey’s net OWN network, citing the network’s lack of racial diversity. On NPR’s “Tell Me More,” Johnson had this to say:
"The only advice that I say, let’s open up your circle a little bit more. You know, we love the Dr. Phils. We love the Suze Ormans. Let’s open up. There are other people. And there’s also African-American experts out there that I think she should start bringing on her show that can reach even a wider audience."
At that point, host Michel Martin mentioned that the network’s whiteness might be confusing to some. Johnson then said this:
"No. Yes," replied Johnson. "And I think she really should do that and not be afraid to do it. There’s really a lot of great experts out there that really know the businesses at hand. And I’d like to see her open up her circle to do that."
So Andreas Hale, former Executive Editor of Music at BET.com, has been let go.
But instead of simply gathering up his pencils, Rolodex and the favorite coffee mug, Hale took to the web to lay out many of his trials and tribulations during his time at BET.
Hale then hit ‘send’ on an explosive email that landed in our in-boxes Tuesday. The dysfunction that Hale describes is startling, but if we’re honest, I think Hale verifies what many of us have long suspected:
As someone who has been critical of BET for many years, it surprised many that I would leave my post at HipHopDX last year to take a position at BET. But it was an opportunity I absolutely had to take. I could no longer be critical of this company without accepting the opportunity to change it when given. …
Although I was hired to bring about change, I was systematically shut down. I wasn’t hired to make noise, I was hired to be silenced. The truth of the matter is that everything that you thought was wrong with BET is true.
Hip-Hop Emcee/Newscaster, Jasiri X returns with his weekly Hip-Hop newscasts. For this week, current events include the ongoing Iraq-shoe fiasco, Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi Scheme, the Obama-Rev. Warren controversy, Soulja Boy ‘apologizing’ to his fans, the mysterious death of Billey Joe Johnson and more: