Following a Massive Attack from Nicki Minaj's Barbz, BET Issues Apology for Crass Tweet

Illustration for article titled Following a Massive Attack from Nicki Minajs Barbz, BET Issues Apology for Crass Tweet
Photo: Theo Wargo (GETTYIMAGES)

I’d like to start this out by saying that never in the history of ever will you ever have to tear another woman down to build one up.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

On music’s biggest night, a regular, degular girl from the Bronx made history. Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, aka Cardi B, became the first solo female artist to win Rap Album of the Year at the Grammys. The come up was real. Belcalis went from stripping and working the Love & Hip Hop franchise to becoming a household name. Okurt!


What was supposed to be a moment of celebration quickly turned into a segment of folks pitting woman against woman for likes and retweets—in this case, Cardi B against fellow rap star Nicki Minaj. One notable participant in the act was television’s blackest network, BET. After Cardi made history, BET, the place that blessed us with Cita’s World and 106 & Park, posted a now-deleted tweet promoting the win that read “Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj is being dragged by her lacefront.”

Sources at BET have told The Root the tweet was unauthorized, written by a freelancer who is part of the network’s editorial staff, not their social media team.

Illustration for article titled Following a Massive Attack from Nicki Minajs Barbz, BET Issues Apology for Crass Tweet
Screenshot: BET (Twitter)

Having nothing but time, the Minaj followers, known as her “Barbz,” had a massive attack and attacked BET en masse, collectively dragging the network. Minaj herself quickly got word of this and announced that she and her label mates would no longer be a part of the BET Experience or the BET Awards.


After said announcement, the dragging by her fanbase continued. Sources at BET told The Root that Barbz even went so far as to randomly call employees at the network in regards to the insult to Minaj. (Sidebar: Imagine having so much free time on your hands that you can spend it randomly calling people while they’re at work minding their business. I hope that energy translates to the actual purchasing of music. But I digress.)

After hours of abuse by Minaj and her fanbase, BET issued the following statement, apologizing to the star and her Barbz:

BET loves Nicki Minaj. We have supported her from the very beginning of her career and will continue to do so moving forward. Nicki has paved the way for so many performers and has solidified her place as one of the most powerful figures in the music industry.

Unfortunately, the respect we have for Nicki was violated by this post that should never have been written. The post does not reflect how we feel about Nicki. And further does not reflect our company values. We deeply apologize for the hurt, disappointment and confusion that this post has caused. We are committed to doing everything we can to address the situation.

We are also conducting an internal audit to assure these types of posts are not published again. We have apologized to Nicki and her team. The post has been removed and we have taken additional appropriate action. We understand Nicki’s position and look forward to continuing our dialogue with her.

Finally, we apologize to all of her fans. This should have never happened.

BET mentions that the post should have never been written, and I, for one, agree wholeheartedly. The tweet that was published was someone’s effort at being messy, merely for engagement and attention. The issue here is that when you control a brand’s platform, you are not posting as an individual, but are now representing an entire entity. People aren’t going to say “xyz random person is trash for this tweet,” they’re going to attack the brand—and that one cheap bid for engagement has the potential to undo years of hard work.


As a social media manager, I myself have a responsibility to entertain and state facts, but those actions should never weigh more than my brand’s reputation. It is never worth the headache.

BET has also promised to conduct an internal audit, which basically means:


Chief Beyoncé Content Officer @ TheRoot. I aspire to be as steadfast & unmovable as Solange's wig. Former President of Hogwart's Black Student Union.

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Somewhere Queen Latifah, Monie Love, MC Lyte & Salt N Pepa shake their heads. These women were far more influential and important to the genre & now they are forgotten as less talented artists reap the benefits of their hard work. I hope all these “Barbz” devote as much energy to registering people to vote and actually you know voting rather than harassing a television network. Also BET ain’t been black since the days of Video Soul and Teen Summit.