Fashion commentator and Glam Network and Ebony Magazine blogger Brandon Scott Sessoms, known as B. Scott, was asked to change into more masculine clothes after being invited by BET (Black Entertainment Television) to cover the red carpet arrivals at the BET Awards.
B. Scott arrived at the awards dressed in a, typical for him, feminine attire complete with heels, a long black shirt, lipstick and his long black hair down. BET forced him to change into slippers and a suit and made him tie his hair up into a pony tail.
“The powers that be for this show wanted “B. Scott”…but not really,” states Scott in an open letter he posted on his blog, LoveBScott.com. “I’ve previously appeared on BET’s 106 and Park twice. On both occasions, there was never an issue with my appearance or how I chose to express myself.”
Scotts clothes after (right) and before (left)
BET later issued an apology to Scott in an attempt to make amends. A statement released by BET said the incident “was a singular one with a series of unfortunate miscommunications from both parties. We regret any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community and we seek to continue embracing all gender expressions.”
This apology was not received well by B. Scott. He found the apology to be unenthusiastic, and stated that the attire that he showed up in should not have been a surprise to anyone. “I want a real apology from BET. This was a not a mutual misunderstanding or miscommunication. I pride myself on being very professional,” said Scott.
Scott claims to have gone through many steps to ensure the ‘okay’ of any outfit he intended to wear. He was also accompanied by several producers of the show up until air time.
“Not only was it agreed upon among the stylists, I met with a producer of the show the night before and showed her the ensemble. She said it was acceptable and requested I send over a picture…” said Scott on his blog. “The picture of the complete outfit was sent over and everything was fine. At all points during this process, everything I was going to wear or considering wearing was both discussed and approved.”
Overall, Scott handled the situation very well. “It’s not just about the fact that BET forced me to pull my hair back, asked me to take off my makeup, made me changed my clothes and prevented me from wearing a heel. It’s more so that from the mentality and environment created by BET made me feel less than…”
He had reservations on even bringing the incident to light. “I initially didn’t want to talk about this situation because I was truly embarrassed. But, I feel that it’s important to know that no matter how you choose to express yourself, it is okay to be who you are.”
Scott has had appearances on the BET Network before wearing feminine attire. He has appeared on 106th & Park, The Tyra Show, Oxygen TV, Extra, Bravo and The Ricki Lake Show.
A petition by Change.org has been addressed to the CEO of BET asking for a public apology, according to the Huffington Post.