The Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was attacked from all sides at Sunday night’s BET Awards in Los Angeles with Disney’ Lady and the Tramp star Janelle Monae leading the way.
Janelle Monae used her opportunity to wish the audience Happy Pride Day and pointed to the LGBTQ representation.
“I’d like to give a special, special shoutout to Black women, to Black queer artists, to Black nonbinary artists,” she said. “These artists 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, and our decisions, my decision.”
She then threw in, “Fuck you, Supreme Court,” holding up a prominent middle finger; the expletive was bleeped but her hand gesture was clearly seen.
— Gerren Keith Gaynor (@MrGerrenalist) June 27, 2022
“I know we are 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.”
Empire actor Taraji P. Henson hosted the ceremony and delivered her take.
After Lizzo opened the show with her single About Damn Time, Henson said “It’s about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than women.”
“It’s a sad day in America,” Henson went on, thanking Lizzo who recently donated $1m in tour proceeds to Planned Parenthood.
“A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman that can give life – if she chooses to.”
— Chancey Pridgen (@PridgenChancey) June 27, 2022
Jazmine Sullivan was announced as the winner and she used the opportunity to ask men to back their women.
“I want to speak directly to the men: We need y’all. We need y’all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us,” she said.
Variety reports in the show’s first half hour, nearly every woman who took the stage commented on the issue: Best New Artist winner Latto said as part of her acceptance speech: “It’s about giving pro-choice… it’s about never giving in to a man policing my body.”
Since the ruling was handed down by the Supreme Court on Friday, several celebrities have attacked the institution.
Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Kendrick Lamar referenced the decision during performances at Glastonbury in England, while Kim Kardashian wrote a message on her Instagram story, reading: “In America guns have more rights than women.”