Let the 2020 BET Awards begin!
On Sunday, host Amanda Seales kicked off the virtual broadcast with a poignant monologue that addressed recent events and called for racial justice.
"Now, folks always say, ‘All Amanda ever does is talk about race.' Well, listen, I would love to talk about regular, everyday things, but racism always beats me to it," she began. "For instance, candy: Who don't like candy? But whenever I talk about Skittles, I remember Trayvon Martin. I would love to talk about ice cream, it's a delicious treat. But each time I do, I'm reminded of Botham Jean."
"Who doesn't appreciate some shut eye?" she continued. "I had nap in 2015 that was so good, it felt like Black Jesus tucked me in. I still talk about it to this day, but that's a wrap because I can't dream about sleeping knowing Breonna Taylor's killers have not been arrested."
While addressing the different nature of this year's show, Seales said that the BET Awards served as a "break" for the Black community.
"We deserve a break," the Insecure star explained. "When I say, ‘We,' I mean all us Black folks watching the kneeling," she explained, "The ‘I take responsibility' vids and saying to ourselves, ‘Wow, y'all goofy.' Because America is acting brand-new about racism."
"Like, Dr. Martin Luther the King Jr. was doing all them speeches for album interludes," Seales continued. "Now they're talking about Juneteenth. It's dope, but you all don't let them Cinco de Mayo our day. If we ain't watchful, every June 19th, folks will be wearing Frederick Douglas wig hats, ordering Harrietini's off the drink special. Then we have the protest we've been out marching and this new eruption of consciousness has been beautiful. But keep it real though; Some of you were on the protest because the club is closed."
Ahead of Sunday's big show, Seales sat down with Erin Lim for E!'s The Rundown to discuss how the 2020 BET Awards will tackle recent events.
"What you can expect from the show this year is innovation," Seales told Lim exclusively. "You can expect the same level of celebration of Black music and Black artistry. You can expect nuance and an awareness of what's going on in the world. But really it's about escapism without avoidance."
She continued, "We would be a ridiculous Black show if we did not honor the Black Lives Matter movement, and if we didn't honor it several times throughout. If I'm hosting it, it's going to be Black everything."