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Lil Nas X Accuses BET Awards of Homophobia After Getting Snubbed

"Fuck BET," he proclaims in a sneak peek of an upcoming single

Lil Nas X, photo by Charlotte Rutherford
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    Lil Nas X has sufficiently proven that he doesn’t he doesn’t need the approval of Billboard charts or award shows to quantify his success, but that doesn’t mean he’ll shy away from calling out bigotry if he sees it. In a sneak peek he shared of his upcoming single “Late to Da Party,” the rapper proclaims “fuck BET,” ostensibly referencing his snub at this year’s BET Awards — but the core issue, he added, is deeper than nominations.

    “this not over no bet award,” Lil Nas X clarified in a series of tweets Tuesday. “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 went on to explain how even despite his Grammy nominations, being ostracized from the BET Awards — which were established specifically to honor Black entertainers — hurt him. “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?” he wrote. “is that not crazy? am i really tripping?”

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    A fan responded to Lil Nas X pointing out that Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator — rappers who are also openly queer — have both been BET nominees before. But while Lil Nas X admires them for helping to pave the way, he implied that his relative femininity subjects him to more judgement: “love frank and tyler to death but can we admit queer men are more respected when they do less feminine things or am i making that up?”

    Some people weren’t fully on board with Lil Nas X’s argument, though: “when will gay men understand they can be gay w/o making it their whole personality?” one user replied. “you act like a female rather than you just liking men and that’s where people are put off.”

    But, as always, Lil Nas X had a fire response: “gay men should continue making being gay their whole personality as long as we are still being jailed n fckin killed in countries for it.”

    After the rapper’s rant, BET issued a response: “We love Lil Nas X,” they wrote (via Variety). “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,” BET’s 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.”

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    The statement continues: “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,” the statement continues. “We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all of the many intersections of the Black community.”

    It is surprising that the BET Awards would skip over Lil Nas X this year, considering all the free publicity his on-stage same-sex kiss earned them at their 2021 show. See his tweets below.

    You can catch Lil Nas X in all his glory when he finally embarks on his first-ever tour later this year, which includes a headlining slot at Austin City Limits. Check ticket availability over at Ticketmaster.

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