Videogum

An Open Letter To Black Entertainment Television Regarding Their Cease And Desist Letter

(This week, we’re highlighting some of our favorite Videogum posts / video-related moments of 2008. So that’s why things look different, and are old, this week. And Happy Almost New Year!)

Originally posted on Videogum on June 6, 2008.

Dear Black Entertainment Television,

First let me say how excited I am to have received your “Cease and Desist” letter. It is the first letter of this nature that I have ever received, and as such it legitimizes me. What your letter says is that someone thinks that this bullshit is read by enough people (it is not), and that it matters (it doesn’t). Someone thinks that I have violated their rights! Success! A “Cease and Desist” letter is like a blog’s Bar Mitzvah. Now videogum.com is a man.com. It would have been nicer if I could have received the letter right before Mother’s Day, to fill our brunch with pride, but a Father’s Day miracle isn’t bad. Anyway, thank you for that.

Now, I’m no lawyer, but I’ve watched every iteration of Law & Order at least once, except for Trial By Jury, but no one watched Trial By Jury.

I’ve also watched every episode of Law & Order: Fair Use, and am quite confident that with one exception, our repurposing of clips from College Hill: Atlanta and Iron Ring are within our rights. But whatever. You have to pick your battles, and I promise you that College Hill: Atlanta or Iron Ring aren’t anyone’s battles.

The real issue here is that ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Black Entertainment Television, your network, is a marginalized cable outlet that has never been widely recognized for its original programming. You have a negligible white audience, and many prominent members of the black community have derided you for perpetuating negative stereotypes. So just to get this straight, you’re pursuing legal action against a website that was offering you free positive publicity? You are the smartest. That must be why your shows are such hotbeds for discussion (not hotbeds) and cultural touchstones for a whole new generation of viewers (not a cultural touchstone).

In conclusion, I promise not to watch any more College Hill or Iron Ring, and I promise never to use this forum to promote your network. I apologize for any inconvenience and or increased interest in BET that I may have caused.

Sincerely,
Gabe.

P.S. Under One Roof is the most fucking racist thing I have ever seen.

CORRECTION: My sincerest apologies to B.E.T. in regards to my comment about Under One Roof. While that show is still the most fucking racist thing I have ever seen, in regards to your channel it is only the most fucking racist thing I have seen advertised. Constantly.)