Janelle Monae, the first presenter for the night, at the BET Awards 2022 wasted no time in criticizing the US Supreme Court which recently overturned the historic Roe v Wade decision, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion in the nation. 

“F**k you, Supreme Court”, Monae said during the live telecast of the event that’s taking place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. She held up her middle finger as well, and though the expletive was beeped out, the finger was visible to all. 

The 36-year-old said “I’d like to give a special, special shoutout to Black women, to Black queer artists, to Black nonbinary artists”, adding, “These artists making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body, and our decisions, my decision.”

Monae continued, “I know we are celebrating us right now, as we should — we absolutely deserve to celebrate especially now. We must celebrate our art by protecting our right and our truths.”

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She isn’t the only one to use the BET platform to address this issue. Taraji P Henson, who’s hosting the ceremony also said “It’s about damn time we step into our power. It’s about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman. It’s a sad day in America.” 

Jazmine Sullivan, the first winner of the night who took home the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award, added to this by saying “As always, I do this for the women — for my sisters especially”, and continued, “It’s a hard time right now for us, and I want to speak directly to the men. We need y’all. We need y’all to stand up. Stand up for us, stand up with us.”

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She further stated, “If you have ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing with us. This is not just a woman’s issue. This is everybody’s issue, and we need your support more than ever, OK, fellas. Y’all got us? Because we’ve got y’all. Y’all got us?”