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Blackout Tuesday: BET Sets Specials, Town Hall In Wake Of George Floyd Death, Eyes Presidential Forum With Donald Trump & Joe Biden

Denise Petski

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EXCLUSIVE: BET has set a series of special programs beginning today “addressing systemic racism, the violence faced by Black people in America and the solutions to help move the country forward” in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The network also is eyeing a Juneteenth Presidential Forum, in which President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden have been invited to share their plans on a range of critical issues. The programming initiative comes as many entertainment industry leaders, including BET, are observing Blackout Tuesday, “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” in response to Floyd’s death. BET will again go to “black” at 9 PM ET today for 8 mins and 46 seconds “in honor of George Floyd and the countless others who have died due to racism and injustice,” the network said.

BET says it “is utilizing its platforms to support the critical need for change in America, as evidenced by the careless murder of George Floyd and the tragic history of systemic and lethal racism and inequality in this country.” The network says the programming specials during the month of June will “provide information, insights and strategies that spark meaningful dialogue and help provide solutions to eradicate the racial inequities plaguing our society.”

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“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, said Scott Mills, President of BET. “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.

From in-depth news specials, subject matter expert conversations, interstitials, and round-the-clock coverage on BET.com and social platforms, we are delivering impactful content and resources that speak directly to our viewers. Empowering Black Americans is core to our mission. We are committed to using our unique ability to mobilize our powerful, cross-sector coalition of partners to help drive critical outcomes and amplify leading voices in the Black community,” added Mills.

The programming begins tonight at 6 PM with Finding Justice, a docuseries which looks at the faces of change in Black America, from executive producers Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and David Leepson.

It will be followed at 8 PM with BET News’ Justice Now special hosted by Marc Lamont Hill. It 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. The special will reflect on the killing of George Floyd, the protests that have ensued and systemic racism that have led us to where are today.

BET News will also produce Justice Now: A BET Town Hall, a special virtual telecast that will give voice to the collective grief, anger, fear, needs and hopes of our community and feature community leaders and activists to share their views on the reforms necessary in America’s political and criminal justice systems and the importance of voting at state and federal levels. The panel of experts will also provide tangible solutions for sustainable change. This virtual Town Hall will air later in the week.

Additionally, on the historically significant day of June 19th – Juneteenth – BET will feature a day-long lineup of inspirational programming, featuring curated films along with special programming that speaks to the unrelenting African American journey to freedom in America.

The day will conclude with a BET News Presidential Forum. President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden, have been invited to face Black America for the first time on national television to address their concerns according to BET. Interviewed individually, each will be asked to address a range of critical issues including institutional racism, disparities in housing, health, and income, and reform within law enforcement and the criminal justice system. They will be asked to provide their specific plans to improve these issues and move America forward.

Today’s complete programming schedule with details follows below.

TUESDAY, June 2:

6 PM — FINDING JUSTICE (Stand Your Ground) — From executive producers Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and David Leepson, this compelling docuseries tells the powerful stories of heroes, leaders, advocates and change agents in African American communities across America as they uncover injustices and fight to bring healing and change. With the grit and edge of investigative journalism and the profound heart of a powerful documentary, each episode delivers a riveting look at the faces of change in Black America.

7 PM — FINDING JUSTICE (Police Brutality)

8 PM — A BET NEWS SPECIAL JUSTICE NOW – Hosted by Marc Lamont Hill, this BET primetime News special will feature dialogue with leading African American voices in activism, politics and entertainment to reflect on the killing of George Floyd and the protests that have ensued. “A BET News Special Justice Now” will air Today, June 2 at 8 PM ET/PT on BET.

9 PM — FINDING JUSTICE (Police Brutality) (Encore)

10 PM — A BET NEWS SPECIAL JUSTICE NOW (Encore)

11 PM – 2 AM — COPWATCH: AMERICA EPS 101 – 104 — a riveting docuseries taking a provocative and compelling look into the men and women on the front lines battling injustice at the hands of those sworn to protect. The series follows citizen-whistleblowers who have taken up a daily fight to protect their community’s lives and rights and keep law enforcement abuses of power in check.

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