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2012 BET Awards Nominees Announced; Revisiting 2011 Backlash Over Film Category Noms

2012 BET Awards Nominees Announced; Revisiting 2011 Backlash Over Film Category Noms

In case you haven’t heard, the nominees for the 2012 BET Awards were unveiled last night, with categories in both musc and film as always.

And since we care more about the film categories here on S&A, we’ll focus on those alone. I’m sure you can find the full list of all nominees with a quick Google search.

Samuel L. Jackson is set to host the July 1 awards ceremony, to be held at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditoriumas black Hollywood struts its wears down the red carpet, prepped and primed to give and/or receive. It’ll be a night of music, movies, laughter, with likely an unexpected occurrence or two, all while Twitter feeds explode with commentary from viewers, ranging from abhorrent to awesome.

Will you be tuning in? Do you care?

Last year’s awards show drew 7.7 million viewers on BET.

You’ll recall the backlash that followed after the nominees for the 2011 BET Awards were announced, with a lot of folks feeling rather strongly about some of the names and titles that made the cut, as well as those that didn’t, but many felt should have.

The backlash was apparently quite overwhelming that BET chose to eventually formally respond; and they did so via Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, and the executive producer of the BET Awards.

No immediate backlash yet so far this year, so a good sign that most are pleased with the selections (or just don’t care, or a combo of both). You can read BET’s response to last year’s backlash HERE, in full, but here are a few noteworthy points, as they relate to this site.

First, and maybe most important, an answer to a question that I think a lot of us were not aware of previously, and were curious about; specifically, how exactly the nominees are chosen each year.

Hill’s response: “Like every time, there’s a collection of music industry folks, bloggers, music writers and, most importantly, a collection of fans that were gleaned from We call it the Voting Academy. We had fans, music writers, bloggers and music industry folks.

And I always just kind of figured it was solely an “insider” thing; it never crossed my mind that the process sort opinions from a seemingly diverse group of people, who appear to not be affiliated with the network. But I’d recommend they consider diversifying even more.

Next… last year, apparently The Book of Eli was initially nominated for Best Movie, but, for some reason, it was later removed from consideration. Why?

Stephen Hill’s response: “Okay, so in some of our passion, we don’t always get it right. The Book of Eli is now no longer in the Best Movie category. We had an enthusiastic Denzel Washington fan who threw The Book of Eli into the possibles for Movie of the Year. And there are so many Denzel Washington fans and Hughes Brothers fans out there that they voted it as one of the nominations. The problem was that that it didn’t come out during the eligibility period. So we’ve removed it from the nomination… It was a good movie, but we’ve removed it from the nominations. We realized that it was a mistake, but we’ve corrected that mistake.

I couldn’t find any info on what the eligibility period is; Hill didn’t say. But, given that all the other films nominated in this category last year were released after April, and Eli was released in January, I’m guessing the “eligibility period” might begin in April?? And in case you’re wondering, or have forgotten, the films nominated in the final Best Movie category last year were… Death at a FuneralFor Colored GirlsTakers and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, Too?.

And lastly, still in a film-related category… Chris Brown’s nomination in the Best Actor category in 2011 was questioned by many (including some of you here, if my memory serves me correctly).

Hill addressed that by stating: “My thought on that is as follows: We assembled the [Voting] Academy. We try to make it as varied as possible. But when the Academy comes back with their results—again, it’s not any of our individual shows—that’s the decision we’ve made, to trust the Academy. When they come back with a decision, we stick by that decision… I want to be very clear. It’s not like, “Oh, we like four of them but we wanna stick Chris Brown in as an actor.” That’s who they voted for. Between music industry folk, bloggers, writers and fans, Chris Brown was nominated for an acting award.

I’ll repeat what I said already… they need to diversify their pool of voters. And who were the other actors nominated in the Best Actor category last year? Laz AlonsoDon CheadleIdris Elba, and Jamie Foxx. If I remember correctly, many were shocked that Chris Brown, Laz Alonso (in a supporting role), and Jamie Foxx in a thankless performance, got the nod over Anthony Mackie in Night Catches Us – stressing the BET Awards lack of indie representation, and further emphasizing my point about them diversifying their pool of voters.

There wasn’t any public pushback against the nominees in the Best Actress category last year, so there was nothing there for BET/Stephen Hill to respond to.

But the actresses nominated in the Best Actress category were Kerry Washington, Halle BerryTaraji P. HensonRegina KingZoë Saldana.

Fast-forward a year later, to the list of 2012 BET Awards nominees; looking over all I shared above, and the list of 2012 nominees below, would you say much of the thinking behind the awards has changed:

Best Actress: Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Regina King, Zoe Saldana

Best Actor: Don Cheadle, Common, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Denzel Washington

Best Movie: Good Deeds, Jumping The Broom, Laugh At My Pain, Red Tails, The Help

This Article is related to: News



I just wanna see Patti Labelle. Don't care if Showboat wins for best film.

Mark & Darla

Chitlin Circuit Award Show


I'm wondering if any of the Shadow & Act writers are members of any film critic organization? Or TV critics organization. I ask because instead of wasting time figuring out the mindset of such groups and orgs, why not create one of your own? The African Diaspora Awards which would honor the best in mainstream and independent cinema, US and International TV programming, student filmmaking, and documentary filmmaking. Just a thought. And since I'm a pop culture buff, I'll gladly sign up to be a voting member since I would actually watch everything and already tend to.


That's the best they could come up with in the best movie category? A movie that completely erases black women as love interests, a movie that shows black women as mammie, and three other straight up garbage films? They could have at least expand the categories to include indies, documentaries, animation, and foreign (African diaspora) films. I know which award show I'll be avoiding like the plague. >_>


I'm just looking forward to–or hoping that–SLJ cusses a lot during the ceremony with something like, "Pull your g–d—pants up off yo a–, boy!"

James Evans from the Cabrini-Green

This is not a "real" awards show….this is more like the "Kids Choice Awards" on Nickelodeon. They're just making money, is all. Pure, textbook capitalism (not that there's anything wrong with making a living off the masses, mind you.)


Damn, the best movie category is pitiful.


The bet awards are a popularity contest. It's a shame that true talent doesn't get recognized. It seems as if the same people win and are nominated over and over


Laughable award show. I will avoid at all costs. Them not nominating Pariah is the least of their problems.


Perhaps the BET awards should just stick to awarding those in music….

Impish Fordino

An interesting article I wonder though if asked of by BET & NACCP (I understand they've taken flack too) would you join an academy?


I thought at least Don Cheadle was nominated for The Guard until I realized that it was actually for House of Lies. This year's film nominations either reflect a lack of vision on the part of the nominating committee or the sorry state of affairs for blacks in the industry …or both.


Kevin Hart? For what? His standup?

Jayson Jay

The BET certainly do a better job than the Image Awards nomination-wise. My God, 'Love that Girl' and Tyler Perry.

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