Friday, October 22, 2021

BET’s Sheila Johnson Recommends Public Affairs and Social Issues Shows For Students

Sheila-Johnson*Instead of the occasional comedy or drama, BET co-founder and entrepreneur Sheila Johnson recommended public affairs and social issue shows as the ones to faithfully tune into.

Johnson made the challenge to Hampton University students when she spoke during the school’s annual Conference on the Black Family.

“Advertisers go where the most eyeballs are,” Johnson said while comparing content on black media networks to content on Hispanic-owned networks. “‘You see sitcoms and soap operas but they also have news, hard-hitting news, on the issues that matter”

“As a co-founder of BET, I know why this isn’t happening. Advertisers don’t buy our programming unless it’s music videos or comedy,” she continued. “That’s the only way we can pay our bills. We’re really caught between a rock and a hard place.”

Evidence of Johnson’s concerns can be found in the list of top programs for blacks and Hispanics. For the week of March 10-16, 2014 the top 10 broadcast television programs for African-Americans were “Scandal,” “Resurrection,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Person of Interest,” “American Idol (Wednesday),” “The Voice,” “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Criminal Minds” and “Chicago PD.”

For Hispanics that week, Univision shows occupied the top five spots with the telenovela “Que Vida Me Robo,” dominating on Tuesday, Wednesday, Monday, Thursday and Friday. The telenovela “Que Pobres Tan Ricos” followed on Wednesday, Friday and Thursday while the reality show “Nuestra Belleza” ruled on Sunday. The list was rounded out with the Monday edition of “Que Pobres Tan Ricos.”

As for all viewers, the top 10 shows were: “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Voice”(Tuesday); “The Voice,” “Blue Bloods,” “60 Minutes,” “NCIS,” “Bachelor: After Final Rose,” “Criminal Minds,” “Resurrection” and “CSI.”



  1. Wow! If this article isn’t the epitome of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is. You make your billions from exploiting and presenting your own people in an even mire dehumanizing light than BET currently does, and now you ‘re it’s critic. When Sheila and Bob Johnson were owners at BET, you could turn it on in the post midnight hours and see hard core pornographic type programming with scantily clad women in g-strings humping and grinding on the floor, etc. And everyone knows that children have their own TV’s in their rooms now and were watching that denigrating filth. Sheila had no problems with that though.

    And now, What does she do to uplift her former community with her billions? Does she do anything above and beyond the superficial “Leona Hemsley type be kind to the little people PR gimmick pumped up educational tax write offs mostly donated to majority white type institutions such as the Parsons School of design. No BBC Is in distress such as Morris Brown et al are not prestious enough for the nouveau rich blacks. Ad a matter if fact, they want to distance themselves as far away from anything black as possible. How about an elite country club in Middlebury totally void of any black imagery at all except for the very fair skinned owne”s portrait.

    Blacks hate themselves and their own kind, and the mire money they have the more the beg for the approval of others and distance themselves from the black “little people.”

    So Sheila Johnson stop pretending that you give a darn about those who made you a callous hearted billionaire. You don’t

      • Opps! Sorry! Didn’t mean Shelia Johnson but the young lady who wrote this comment. We will sell our soul for anything. Shelia and her exhusband Bob Knew what they were doing and the effect it would have on the Black community. But to achieve the almighty dollar they cast this horrible moral sickness on our future, our youth and didn’t give a damn. Billions of dollars later and the demise of the Black family and community to some great extent because of this cancer they are responsible for creating she states, “we were between a rack and a hard place”. No you were between help uplift or help destroy the Black community through your venue. You determined that to help destroy it was more profitable. What and how much are you giving or doing to help undo thid mess you helped create?

  2. P.S. – Meant to type HBCU’s such as Morris. Brown. Also, meant to add that Sheila Johnson had no problem with Snoop Dogge walking out on the stage at a BET Awards program several years ago when still owned by she and former husband Bob Johnson, with a dog collar and leash around the ndecks of several scantily clad black women and Bob Johnson pimp strutting up on stage giving Snoop the high five and calling him “the man” when they owned the station.,

    And now, after earning the biklions on the backs of black employees and subscribers , how many black employees and service providers and contractors do you hire now?

    I would venture to say, not many- not even doorman and/or menial service providers, at the new business ventures skewed to the more affluent,

    And do you call security on white non-profit owners who request your consideration for donor support and/or do you act insulted and offended that they would approach you? I din”t think so.

    Or do you gladly replace the entire water filtration system of a majority wealthy, none black town for the privelege of bringing in millions in tax revenue into that town.

    Fortunately for you, Dr, Dre et al new money blacks, the black commu,ity has no insult level and demands no respect from anyone who uses and explouts them, nit even their own.

    Please cut out the pretend to care about black folks routine. It’s nauseating.

  3. Peggy Sears … THANK YOU. You have expressed everything that I feel and KNOW about Corporate America, BET and the Johnsons.

  4. P.S.- Lastly, I must mention that everyone loves a good laugh, so there’s no shame in having comedy as one of your alleged burdens when endeavoring to get BET off the ground. BUT, why was it necessary to allow D..L. Hugely to use the “n” word 50-100 times per one hour show when you owned it, yet you ‘re so concerned now about the impact of denigrating messaging skewed to a black audience? It seems that the obsession with positive media images for blacks is a little disingenuous don’t you think?

    And what are you trying to do to remedy that now? You have shown contempt towards me for even asking for a donation for the Benjamin Banneker commemorative effort here in the nation’s capital, now going into it’s 19th year.

    And, although you have a reasonable black clientele at your luxury hotel spa in Middleburg, you have NO images of African or African-American people anywhere that I’ve noticed throughout except your ‘s on the entrance and a bronze sculpture of you and your daughter with her horse in the lobby. Clearly, the African-American is not your target market or preferred employee there,

    Of course. I am clearly not a favored friend of the nouveau riche blacks in America for calling them out for deserting and/or snubbing their own, but your feigning concern for the welfare of blacks and the psychological warfare being waged against us is insufferable. Especially in light if the fact that the billions made by you and your ex-husband and business partner was made on the backs of folks who look like you. Yet, the favorite beneficiaries of that nouveau riche wealth are people who don’t look like you.

    Oh, and thanks for refusing to get back with me from a few months ago about hosting a Black History Month event there at your resort next month. Too elite fir us darkies I presume.

    Happy New Year!

    • Peggy, you are a hoot! I really appreciate your comments about Sheila because they are absolutely true. As I may have told you, I worked for BET in the early 80s and I swear, there was nothing of value at the place during my tenure. I was thrilled that they asked me to leave. Bob told me that I was never to question his programming, so I guess it was time to get the hell out!

      I hope you are well. I didn’t know where you were because when last we spoke you were headed to NC. If you get this email, please contact me. I’d love to catch up. God Bless.

  5. It’s very true & accurate, that the corporate structure maintains & advocates for our continued surpression; & it’s very true that they will not advance most things that supports a posotive image of Black Folks, but it’s our duty to inforce this, or shut down the programming!..Do you think the Jews will allow this sort of thing to exsist in their community or programming of themselves; no other group willl stand for this or allow it!..You have to wonder on a “moral level” what’s wrong with us?…Well in short, we don’t control our destiny, & we won’t support those people who do: like Min.Farrakhan & others people of good faith & love for the Black community!..It just simply means putting forth a positive image of yourself as every other group does!..Why don’t we get this?..These “insane wrappers”, who corrupt our youth with this demonic nonsense!..Like pimps of our community!…With their insane behavior!..Wakeup man, wakeup!..God Bless!


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