Los Angeles, CA (Jim Neusom and Manny Otiko/ Blackpress.org) - This year's BET Awards, scheduled for Tuesday, June 27, in Los Angeles, Calif. promises to have plenty of lively performances by a host of stars including Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, TI, Mariah Carey
and Kanye West. However one of the award recipients may end up making headlines for his explosive comments, rather than his performance.
Veteran singer and activist Harry Belafonte will receive the BET Humanitarian Award at the show. Belafonte has been a campaigner for human rights for the last four decades. He protested racial segregation during the Civil Rights movement and has also criticized American military action in other parts of the world.
Belafonte is a fierce critic of the current Bush administration and black Republicans such as Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell. A few years ago Belafonte ruffled feathers when he referred to Powell and Rice as 'house slaves.'
Recently he has courted controversy by meeting with Hugo Chavez, the socialist leader of Venezuela who has also been a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy. Media reports state that Belafonte referred to George W. Bush as the 'greatest tyrant in the world.'
If Belafonte uses the award show as a venue to voice his opinions about the Bush administration he could not have a better platform to reach Black America. The annual BET Awards show is credited with being the most-watched awards program by Black television viewers.
This will not be the first time a BET award show has been embroiled in controversy. Last year Paul Mooney's off color remarks about Diana Ross, caused her daughter actress Traycee Ross to walk out of the show. Mooney was then confronted by the Black press, about the propriety of his statement, during a televised celebration, of the best in Black entertainment, music and sports.
The BET Awards, hosted by Hollywood funny man, Damon Wayans, will air live from the Shrine Auditorium at 8 p.m. central and 7 p.m. eastern. The show includes glitzy red carpet arrivals by some of the most recognized faces in Black America, explosive show performances and riveting tributes by the hottest names in Black entertainment.
As always there will be show-stopping, once in a life time, musical tributes. Last year there was an all star musical performance by George Clinton and Snoop Dog. BET is not saying who will perform the musical tribute to Chaka Khan, this years recipient of the BET lifetime Achievement Award.
This is the 6th annual BET Awards show, and is guaranteed to be the talk of the town. Seeing that this is an election year, and the President's popularity is at and all time low, Black America will be waiting with baited breath to hear Harry Belafonte's acceptance speech.
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