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BET Co-Founder Slams Network for Negative Stereotypes

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Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper

Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, bad-mouthed the Black network at a recent event, saying it had become a “squandered” voice.

Speaking at the “Conversations and Encounters” program at the Carmel Art and Film Festival in Monterey County, Calif., Johnson said the new BET “reinforces negative stereotypes of young people, African Americans in particular,” according to EurWeb.com.

Now a strategic adviser to The Huffington Post, Johnson reflected on the “good old days” of the network she and her husband built, saying she was most proud of BET’s Teen Summit, which ran from 1989 to 2002.

But Johnson seemed unimpressed with the theme and direction of the network since it was sold and placed under new management.

“I think we squandered a really important cable network, when it really could have been the voice of Black America. We’re losing our voice as a race as a result,” she ranted. “I’m really worried about what our young people are watching. There are so many young people who are using the television as a babysitter. We have parents who are not being parents and not monitoring what their children are watching.”

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