little tink tink...lol...
I was browsing the internet and came across this letter from a now Former BET Exec Andreas Hale. I have personally had my own incidences with the BET corporation and reading this letter brought back the time I got fired too. I have been against the whole BET system for a long time now. I don't like encouraging the stereotypes and the continuous advertising of ignorance. When I started volunteering for BET I had dreams of working my way up in the company and changing the lives of Black people evrywhere, I learned the first day on the job that was not a goal I wanted to continue to pursue. I worked the BET Awards two years in a row with no problems and great referrals and recommendations from everyone I worked with(as that was the reason I continued to come back was the connections). Then the third year I went back to work for the awards show as an intern now, no more volunteer status for me! sarcasm I was fired. Just like that I showed up to work the press junket not dressed like a black office vixen like the rest of the women I had worked with over the years, but in an India Arie- Erykah Badu type outfit, i looked adorable and was complimented on my attire a number of times, I was fired apparently because of my outfit... (cont after mr hale's letter)
From Andreas Hale:
To friends, colleagues and those that should know,
As of today (September 8, 2009) I am no longer the Executive Editor of Music at BET.com.
Upon entering the position at BET I said that I needed one year to see what really went on inside the belly of the beast. I needed 365 days to sleep with the enemy and infiltrate the system. One year to see if they REALLY wanted change at BET.
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.
Over the past year I’ve seen a lot to reinforce my position that BET is too far gone in the negative to turn into a positive. We have all always thought the worst, but to actually see it in action is another thing in its entirety. The unprofessionalism, the tom foolery, the favors, the misappropriation of resources, the bad ideas that reinforce negative stereotypes, the emasculation of men, the meetings that break down in full fledged cursing battles, the unpaid overtime, the tears from employees scared for their underpaid and overworked positions and ultimately the unwillingness to change are all harsh realities that I’ve witnessed firsthand.
That is not to say that there aren’t some good people who have sat in the offices of BET. Unfortunately, the good people are not in positions of power to instill any change. Instead, they work their fingers to the bone just to keep their jobs in this harsh economic climate. The other good people ran out of the door as soon as an another employment opportunity presented itself. To say BET was a revolving door would be an understatement.
I came in with a plan to provide balance and to deliver good music to the masses and help make BET relevant again – at least in the dot com world. Those attempts were shut down by out of touch executives who run a dot com but could barely turn on a computer. By those who judge their metrics by page views over absolute unique visitors (that‘s ad sales talk). By those who simply don’t understand the internet.
They brought me in because of my track record but never once took a look at my body of work. If they did, they would have known that I was the pen behind editorials such as “BET’s Coon Picnic” or were aware of the many times I have been critical of their award shows and programming. All they knew is that I played a major role in making a once unknown website into a online media outlet that surpassed theirs and they wanted a piece of the action. Too bad they never researched who I really was.
During my tenure I worked long hours and sometimes succeeded at bringing in decent content to try to reflect the change I wanted to achieve. But it wasn’t without opposition. While some interviews and content initiatives were able to make it through, many others were either shut down or met with ridicule. I offered ideas to incorporate the blog world and to spotlight new talent before MTV did. Those ideas were met with comments such as “This isn’t HipHopDX” or “You don’t know what you are talking about.”
BET is not about the quality of your work. Rather, BET is about the relationships you have with powerful people within the company. BET is not about challenging. Instead, BET is about accepting and saying “yes.” If you have known or followed me over the years, you would know that these are things that simply are not in my character and ultimately resulted in my removal.
For the artists and labels that I have worked with for years, I tried. I did whatever I could to achieve that balance many of us wanted to see happen. To the writers who wanted to writer for BET, I made an attempt but was never given a budget to work with.
Upon my arrival, I was told I would be given a staff. Not true. I had a staff of one to carry out daily operations on a website. I fought tooth and nail to accomplish the minimum (an embeddable player and a site people could navigate) and was constantly brushed off. It was a position that was set up for failure. But I endured as long as I could.
Alas, I have been removed from my position after infiltrating the system and the timing was perfect. I wasn’t let go because the site’s numbers were down. Not because I didn’t work hard. Simply because of a personality clash with an individual whose proverbial ass I didn’t kiss enough. Again, not about the work you do but about the relationships you keep and the sides you take.
I’d like to thank BET for covering the cost of my relocation to bring me to the great city of New York/New Jersey. I’d also like to thank them for putting me in close quarters with people who think like me and will hopefully work with in the near future. I’d also like to thank them for providing me enough controversial content that I observed firsthand and will make for many tales to be told.
I said it and I meant in: One year to either make changes or move on. I left HipHopDX on September 16th 2008. Today is September 8, 2009. Eight days short of a year. Most thought I wouldn’t even last that long. But in that year I’ve had my greatest fears about Black Entertainment Television affirmed.
There is so much wrong with BET that I’d rather not break it down in a single email.
It is pretty good fodder for a book don’t you think?
As of today, Andreas Hale is a free agent.
...i found out later the story was apparently that the woman who I was working under that day was jealous of my shine and just wanted to flex her power. I decided not to fight it because who really wants to work for BET anyways. As Mr Hale was offered his position I was also offered the intern position so I took it, I hadn't been chasing it and I had already had a great job as it was. It was such a ridiculous experience every time I worked for these folks. The shows are always so unorganized and it seemed like every year i went back it always seemed a little worse, but i kept going back because for people who have never been affiliated with the company from the inside think it's great on the resume and it is! It's sad that BET is the standard for most black mainstream entertainment and the bar they set is so low. Which has caused blacks to not reach as high as they can in their business endeavors.
Anyways so i show up in my outfit and first I am assigned to help break down and setup tables and such... that lasted 5 minutes and i was moved to assist a makeup artist, i reported to my station and began a fun friendship with the makeup artist and everyone she had to touch including tichina arnold who apparently knew some people i knew and loved the fact i wanted to be a stylist, i worked with the MUA and Tichina for about 20 minutes and at the time i was dragged away from my new found crew they were pulling me into pictures and we were having a ball...the woman who fired me pulled me into the hallway and told me to wait there while she finds me a different job she was very rude i just figured she was a little stressed in her position. She walked away to go talk to someone else and while she was talking another woman who was in charge of PR walked by and remembered me from previous years and told my head she was taking me to use me because she was understaffed with experienced people... i was put in charge of keeping TI and 50 cent separate... i stood in a hallway for about 5 minutes before the PR woman came back to me and said im upgrading u to 50 Cent's escort and there's an issue he wont come out of his room- she was panicked. I just laughed and said okay where do I go? (what she didnt know is that i was currently working for an aftermath producer so this was gonna be fun).I reported to mr Jackson's room and knocked on the door informed his assistant i was his escort and 50 was said to be out in a couple of minutes and he was. The moment he stepped out he said to me something very rude and and i replied in the same way- its what we did at the time. 10 seconds didn't go by with me smiling before the woman who fired me popped up and pulled me to the side. she asked me to stand once again to the side and informed me someone else will replace me helping 50 Cent and they did. 50 proceeded to go back into his room for another half hour : ) the woman appeared once again after me standing for 20 minutes and informed me I was being let go. I asked why... she told me " You will be notified about it later, but you are dressed inappropriately". i asked her why she didn't say anything when I first arrived, and told her iI had a change of clothes in my car which I always did, and she said it wasn't a problem then and changing would not be nessecary, just go home. I was pissed... at that moment i knew it was personal and i dont even know that bitch that way... well needless to say i was insulted and after sitting around for a bit to see if there was someone professional i could talk to about the incident here comes 50 Cent, walking out of his interview he yells to me
" What's Wrong?" I am frowning and I say to him
" I just got fired". He laughed and said to me
" Smile, You are cuter when you smile." and just as i started to laugh as i know this is a backwards compliment ,i look over to see the woman who fired me scowling at me like i stole something from her. SO 50 passed to go into the other press room and TI walks out and proceeds to flirt with me and I just smiled as I watched the one who fired me walk off in a perturbed state at the fact she couldn't bring me down. the best revenge is success : ) BET really needs to get thier shit together for sure.