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BET to Address Systemic Racism With Slate of TV and Digital Specials

Network has also invited President Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to mid-June presidential forum

BET will address systemic racism and the violence black people face in America via a series of television and digital specials throughout June, the network announced Tuesday.

The first special — titled “Justice Now: A BET News Special” will air Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT. According to a press release, it will be hosted by Marc Lamont Hill. “Justice Now” will feature “dialogue with George Floyd’s family, former NBA player Stephen Jackson, Senator Cory Booker, singer John Legend, Rapper TI, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, activist Tamika Mallory, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, Princeton University Department of African American Studies Chairperson Eddie Glaude, Scholar Peniel E. Joseph, Emerald Garner (daughter of Eric Garner), youth activists Michael McDowell and Luis Hernandez and other leading African American voices in activism, politics and entertainment to reflect on the killing of George Floyd, the protests that have ensued and systemic racism that have led us to where are today.”

A companion virtual special, “Justice Now: A BET Town Hall,” will air at an unspecified time later this week.

Airing before and after the news special will be episodes of “Finding Justice” on standing your ground and police brutality, as well as re-airs of the docuseries “Copwatch: America” late night.

“We stand in steadfast solidarity with George Floyd’s family, the many victims of racist brutality, and those who are using their voices and platforms to challenge it. There are no easy solutions for these systemic issues of racism, injustice, and trauma. BET is leveraging every platform and resource at our disposal to support and inform our community and help identify strategies and viable solutions in this time of crisis,” said President of BET Scott Mills.

The network has also invited President Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to BET’s Presidential Forum on June 19th to “face Black America for the first time on national television to address their concerns. Each interviewed individually will be asked to address a range of critical issues, including the institutional racism that has led to disparities in housing, health, income and the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. They will be asked to provide their specific plans to improve these issues and move America forward.”

Neither Trump nor Biden have responded to the invitation. (Note: the Republican and Democratic conventions will not be held until August.)

More information about BET’s programming can be found on its website.

Watch a preview of Marc Lamont Hill’s conversation with Emerald Garner below: