B. Scott, Gender-Nonconforming Host, Sues BET After Being ‘Forced’ To Wear Men’s Clothes
By Cavan Sieczkowski | The Huffington Post
Editor’s note: B. Scott is biologically a male and identifies as gender-nonconforming. In the story below, we have used male pronouns but have been told that B. Scott does not object to female pronouns either.
Gender-nonconforming media personality B. Scott, who is openly gay, is suing Black Entertainment Television (BET) for discrimination after the network reportedly forced him to change into men’s clothing during a red carpet segment.
B. Scott was hired as a Style Stage Correspondent for the Ford Red Carpet before the 2013 BET Awards in Los Angeles in June. Shortly after the show aired, he revealed on his blog that BET “forced” him to pull back his hair, take off his makeup, change his clothes and not wear a high heel. The entertainment network later apologized in a statement to the press, calling the whole incident mere “miscommunication,” but Scott dubbed it a “non-apology.”
On Wednesday, Scott announced on his website that he is suing BET and parent company Viacom for discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.
TMZ obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed against BET. In it, the plaintiff claims he was dressed in a pre-approved black tunic and pants. After the first segment, however, he was allegedly pulled backstage, told his outfit was unacceptable and asked to change. He was later replaced by singer Adrienne Bailon, even though he changed into men’s clothing.
He explained in a statement on his website that he accepts the term “transgender” and he feels his spirit lies somewhere “in between.” He feels it is because of that very identity he faced discrimination.
“It is also by that definition that BET and Viacom willingly and wrongfully discriminated against my gender identity during the 2013 BET Awards Pre-Show,” he wrote. “Let’s be clear — I’m suing BET and Viacom for a true public apology and to be fairly remunerated for the time lost, humiliation and emotional distress this entire situation has put me through.”
Scott said his reputation was damaged and is asking for $2.5 million in damages, according to TMZ.
A spokesperson for BET declined to comment.