From Ye to Monáe, the 5 moments that stole the 2022 BET Awards show

Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

The 2022 BET Awards ceremony on Sunday saw plenty of young artists pay their respects to veteran performers, as well as nationwide hot topics like Roe vs. Wade and gun safety.

Returning to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the star-powered show was hosted by “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, who said the evening was meant to celebrate “Black excellence.” The ceremony kicked off with Lizzo’s electric performance of her summer hit “It’s About Damn Time,” which included the singer’s viral, TikTok-famous choreography.

Here’s a look at some of the night’s other key moments:

-- Janelle Monáe flips off the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision was front of mind for Henson, attendees, winners and even the show’s “in memoriam” segment. And musician Janelle Monáe was among those who boldly blasted the court’s overturning of the landmark case and what it means for abortion rights, women and pregnant people across the country.

Taking the stage to present the award for female R&B/pop artist, Monáe recognized Black Music Month and Pride Month at the start of her remarks, shouting out to “all the gays in the house” then bolstering the artists “making art on our own terms, owning our truth and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body, our decisions, my decision.”


The “I Like That” singer then let an F-bomb fly, even though it was censored during the telecast.

“F— you, Supreme Court,” Monáe said, holding up her middle finger. “I know we’re celebrating us right now, as we should. We absolutely deserve to celebrate, especially now we must celebrate our art by protecting our right and our truths.”

Monáe then presented the award to Jazmine Sullivan, who spoke “directly to the men” during her speech.

“We need y’all. We need y’all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us. If you’ve ever benefitted from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing. This is not just a woman’s issue. This is everybody’s issue. We need your support more than ever,” Sullivan said.


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