These 3 artists spoke out against the overturning of Roe v. Wade at the Black Entertainment Awards
‘Our culture continues to influence everything and everyone,’ said host Taraji P. Henson. ‘Tonight is no different’
The Black Entertainment Awards 2022, hosted by Taraji P. Henson, showcases “Black excellence” by honoring various artists. But the show Sunday night also acted as an international stage for several artists, including Henson herself, Janelle Monáe and Jazmine Sullivan, to criticize the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade.
This year’s BET awards show, which featured Kanye West as a surprise guest, took a more political stance than in previous years. The event started with its usual glitz and glam — Lizzo in a golden, eye-catching outfit singing — but segued immediately into comments by Henson opposing the recent Supreme Court ruling that declared abortion no longer a federal right. She also praised Lizzo for her $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood.
Henson declared that it’s “time that we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman — a weapon that takes lives has more power than a woman who can give lives if she chooses to.”
Further comments were made by other artists, including Monáe and Sullivan.
Monáe directly called out the Supreme Court.
“These artists are making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body — our decisions, my decisions,” Monáe exclaimed.
Winner of the best female R&B/pop artist of the year, Sullivan appealed to the men in the audience. She asked them to stand up for women and support them in making “one of the toughest decisions,” especially if they have ever benefitted from a woman having an abortion.
“This is not just a woman’s issue. This is everyone’s issue,” said Sullivan. “We need y’all.”
That topics like abortion make their way into every aspect of life, even award ceremonies like BET, shows anywhere can become a platform to express views.
“Our culture continues to influence everything and everyone,” said Henson. “Tonight is no different.”