Transgender blogger B. Scott can dress anyway he wants as long as it’s not anywhere near a BET Awards show red carpet. That’s the tough lesson that Scott was dealt when his discrimination lawsuit against BET was dismissed in court earlier today.
B. Scott famously sued the entertainment network, alleging they embarrassed him during the BET Awards pre-show last year when they forced him to change his clothes from women’s clothes into more masculine attire. The blogger/host complied with BET’s demands and they still pulled him off the show anyway.
The judge ruled against B. Scott and used the First Amendment as his reason. The judge ruled that it is within BET’s First Amendment rights to demand B. Scott to change his clothes.
B. Scott released a statement on his blog:
It’s unfortunate that Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos presiding over today’s motion failed to consider the facts in their entirety, especially pertaining to a case as unique as this one.
It disheartens me that the message sent today wasn’t a message of acceptance, but rather it’s acceptable to discriminate against transgender individuals on the basis of their gender identity and expression – and that such discriminatory acts are protected under the first amendment.
As my attorney and I seek to appeal the judges decision on the motion to strike in the California Court of Appeal, we’re continuing to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community and to remind the world that it’s ok to be who you are.
Standing up for your rights and the rights of others can be a lengthy, uphill war. When one battle is lost, another is waged and yet we must press forward.
Although I’m saddened by what today’s verdict means for myself and other members of the LGBTQ community, the struggle is not over. I will pursue progress and human rights for our community through the Appellate Court where I hope that my unique set of circumstances and BET/Viacom’s treatment of me will collectively yield active legislation to prevent anyone else from having to suffer as I have – without networks being able to disguise their unlawful discriminatory practices with vague, umbrella terms like ‘creative privilege’.
I’m committed to change, progress, human rights and equality for all, and by no means do I feel defeated.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.
What do you think about the judge’s ruling? Is this a slap in the face of acceptance and tolerance or was B. Scott being melodramatic?