One week ago, Lil Nas X took aim at the BET Awards after he received “an outstanding zero nominations” this year despite the commercial success of his Montero effort. Now, with the artist having doubled down on his criticism, BET has issued a formal response.
The much-publicized confrontation between Lil Nas X and BET entered the media spotlight last week, as mentioned, when the former party fired off a since-deleted tweet reading: “Thank you BET Awards. An outstanding zero nominations again. Black excellence!”
For reference, Lil Nas X’s debut studio album, Montero, became available to fans in September of 2021. The 15-track effort racked up more than a few streams and brought the 23-year-old five Grammy nominations at the 64th annual ceremony. Additionally, Montero during Q1 2022 generated the most revenue of any Sony Music project save Doja Cat’s Planet Her.
Montero didn’t bring Lil Nas X a BET Award nomination, though, and the two-time Grammy winner then initiated the feud with the happening’s organizer by penning the previously disclosed tweet. Conveniently enough, this message began making headlines just in time for the separate announcement of Lil Nas X’s sponsorship deal with M&Ms.
History suggests that the flames of controversy may have proceeded to die out if left alone; this is not the first (or second) time that Lil Nas X has placed himself in the center of promotionally effective PR battles. But the artist added fuel to the fire with a to-the-point diss-track snippet about BET yesterday, prompting an early morning response from the network.
“this 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 imma risk it all for us,” Lil Nas X elaborated in a follow-up tweet that has thus far garnered 85,000 likes.
BET, for its part, wrote: “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: he performed ‘Old Town Road’ with Billy Ray Cyrus at ‘BET Awards’ 2019 and his ‘BET Awards’ 2021 performance was a highlight of our show. No one cheered louder that night than BET.
“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,” the company made clear.
“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,” concluded BET.
Notwithstanding this seemingly solid explanation, it remains to be seen whether Lil Nas X and his dedicated army of fans will cease criticizing BET and the namesake award show, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 26th. Last year’s BET Awards turned in record-low ratings amid viewership declines throughout the broader award-telecast space.