Viacom’s BET Plans Inaugural Ball

Dec 22, 2008  •  Post A Comment

A second Viacom cable network is planning its own ball at the inauguration of Barack Obama.
BET Networks will join with America’s Promise Alliance, the nonprofit organization set up by former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife, Alma, to host an inaugural ball to be held Jan. 20 in Washington.
BET joins Viacom’s MTV, which earlier announced it would hold its first inaugural ball in 16 years.
The Jan. 20 BET ball will be the first for the cable channel. Besides supporting American’s Promise, it will support Washington’s Dunbar High School and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
BET also will air an hourlong special during the ball called “Yes We Will. BET’s Inaugural Celebration” that will include some live shots from the ball along with taped footage of inauguration related events.
BET also is hosting its second annual BET Honors Jan. 17 in Washington. Actress Gabrielle Union will host the event this year, with honorees including Mary L. Blige, Tyler Perry, choreographer Judith Jamieson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C. That event will air Feb. 9 on BET.
Jeanine Liburd, executive VP of BET, said the decision to do an inaugural ball wasn’t a hard one.
“This is really a historic moment for the country. It is a proud moment to be an American and even a prouder moment to be an African-American,” she said. “If we’re ever going to do a ball, this would be the moment.”
Entertainment for the ball is still being finalized. While some tickets to the event will be offered to BET viewers, the price will be $500 per ticket. Ms. Liburd said BET will provide some tickets to local high school students and give some away as prizes.

51 Comments

  1. is you stupid to think that somebody is going to pay 500.00 to see people they can see on a television screen.

  2. This just baffles me how institutions know that the economy is hurting. Yet, they only see $$ signs when it comes to the market of people that they serve. As a society, we need to be more aware of the people around us.

  3. What is baffling to me is that these so called “stars” will do just about anything to get our attention, and even more to get us to revere them. Then, as soon as they make enough money from our purchase of their cds, dvds, movie tickets etc, the first thing they do is make sure we know they have more than us. They move to areas we can’t go, vacation in spots we can’t afford, and hire guards to keep us away from them. But yet, it wasn’t that long ago when they had the near naked butts in our faces, dancing, singing and girating to win us over. Fake hypocrits, all of them, snubbing your noses at the very hands that feed them. If we poor folks boycotted your movies, and stopped buying your music, you’d suddenly have love for us then, wouldn’t you? And events like this, only separates us further. It’s no longer about racism, but classism, which,in case you didn’t now, is also discrimination. The wealthy elite doesn’t want to hang out with the have-nots, they go to great lengths to make that clear. This attitude is certainly not in the spirit of what the celebration is all about. I’d rather spend my $500 on people I genuinely like and who like me back…the poor, black and realness of me.

  4. I must disagree with the previous comments of such negativity, hateful, and unnecessary comments.
    I come from a poor family which only required me to get a high school diploma. In my house growing up college or having a better life was never discussed.
    My parents spent everything they had on the five necessities for the family 1) Income 2) Education 3) Healthcare 4) Housing/Shelter and 5) Justice.
    I decided to be smarter than my peers by not getting pregnant, marrying a young gentleman, completing a vocational school for medical assisting, joining the military (Air Force), went to college and finished (paid by the military), served four years, got a job and rubbed elbows with the right people to get what I wanted and needed for career development. I learned to speak proper English; not ghetto slang.
    I continue to pursue success and I don’t make excuses for not making things better for myself and my family.
    Oh..I failed to mention I have Five children (ten and under) and still married after 17 years. I am 36 years old and working on my MBA (one year left).
    All people have an opportunity to do better for themselves but it is up to you to challenge yourselves and stop making excuses for not being able to hang out every now and then with the elite.
    I suggest staying out of the mall buying stuff of no value, stop living outside your means, save money, invest in a 401K, strive to secure a career not just a job, educate yourself, read a book, learn something new, work hard, stop hating on others who can, and realize people who do make it, don’t hate you. We wish that you would try harder like that rest of us did.
    It’s called sacrifice. Turn off the TV and do something productive.
    I love you.

  5. Carlea…I beg to differ. I agree with you Edew. This whole phenomenon is about CHANGE. Yep, BET used to have naked butts on the screen. But guess what? They realized they made a mistake and are progressing into more respectable network. Patience and encouragement is what drives postive change
    Bottomline, the $500 price tag isn’t about PROFIT, it’s more about EXCLUSIVITY. Moreover, the funds may be donated to a non-profit organization.
    I suppose you were disappointed with Barack and other prominent leaders when they host invite only $10,000 per table fundraisers?
    You should consider accepting the fact that you live in a segmented society; one that consist of classes. Middle class, upper-class, etc. People pay to mingle in the exclusivity of their social sphere. They have a right to do so. It’s their personal leisure time.
    Carlea, its that same type of negative crab-in-the-bucket attitude thats keeps OUR people down. Perhaps, you are your own reason for being….EXCLUDED.
    God Bless and becareful of the values and POVs you pass on to your kids.
    BTW…I’ll be at the BET Inaugural shaking a tail feather…Haaaay. CHANGE has COME.

  6. Magic Johnson has a nerve to show up at any event celebrating the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. If it were up to Johnson, Hillary Clinton would be the next president. It’s not that The Johnsons (Magic and BET Bob) were backing Senator Clinton, they went so far as to make highly public derogatory and unflattering statements about Senator Obama during the primaries.

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