Television and internet personality and fashion blogger B. Scott said Wednesday he is suing BET, claiming the network humiliated him during the recent BET Awards by yanking him off the show because he was wearing women’s clothes.
B. Scott, who identifies as transgender, claims he was humiliated, suffered damage to his reputation and that BET is guilty of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
He is seeking damages of $2.5 million.
The incident occurred on June 30, when BET allegedly forced B. Scott to tone down his typically feminine look, yanked him off its red carpet coverage for the BET Awards and forced him to change from heels to flats and put on a suit instead of the long flowing black shirt he was wearing.
The network said last month the incident was “a series of unfortunate miscommunications” and that it regretted “any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community.”
B. Scott has called BET’s statement half-hearted.
“I still wholeheartedly believe that I’m entitled to a true public apology. BET’s non-apology statement added more insult to injury,” he said, in a statement. “What happened to me was not a ‘miscommunication’ nor was it ‘unintentional’. It was wrong.”
B. Scott also commented on his gender identity Wednesday, posting this statement on his website:
As a society we’ve been conditioned to believe that a person has to be ‘exactly’ this or ‘exactly’ that. Biologically, I am male — as my sex was determined at birth by my reproductive organs.
However, my spirit truly lies somewhere in between. It is that same spirit that has allowed me to become so comfortable in my skin, choose how I express myself, and contributes to how I live my day-to-day life.
Transgender is the state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one’s assigned sex (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex). [Source]
It is by that definition that I accept and welcome the ‘transgender’ label with open arms.
B. Scott said he has been “vehemently trying to come to a resolution with BET and Viacom behind the scenes,” but that weeks of dialogue have produced no resolution.
The complaint is here.
Editor’s Note: A spokesperson for B. Scott told LGBTQ Nation that the entertainer prefers the use of male pronouns for ease of fans familiar with his work.