Aretha Franklin closed the show, Smokey Robinson delivered a stunning rendition of “The Tracks of My Tears,” and Ice Cube, Berry Gordy, photographer Carrie Mae Weems and American Express President Kenneth Chenault got their props, but in between was a public service ad for the political football known as the Affordable Care Act.
The occasion was a taping of this year’s “BET Honors” special at the Warner Theatre in Washington on Saturday.
The Affordable Care Act PSA was delivered by actor and recording artist Mack Wilds, best known for roles on HBO’s “The Wire” and the CW network’s “90210.”
Wilds told viewers that the act “can actually mean longer lives” for people in his age range (24). He reminds them to sign up by March 31 but apparently flubbed his lines and had to reshoot. When Wilds used a four-letter word to explain to the audience what had happened, host Wayne Brady told him to be conscious of his surroundings. In this audience, “ain’t nobody saggin’,” he said in a reference to the sagging pants style.
Promotion of the Affordable Care Act among media targeting people of color included an appearance by first lady Michelle Obama on radio’s syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”
According to Stephen Hill, BET’s president of music programming and specials, “The PSA will air in the premiere of BET Honors on Monday, February 24 at 9pm ET. Every year during the show, BET Networks try to include a meaningful message that matters to our audience. In the past we have focused on issues such as voting and healthcare. With the deadline coming up, we felt it was the best way to inform our viewers. The producers decided to go with Mack Wilds because he appeals to the youth.”
Helena Andrews, “Reliable Source,” Washington Post: From the red carpet onward, the BET Honors brings star power to D.C.
Charles Ornstein, ProPublica: Epic Fail: Where Four State Health Exchanges Went Wrong
M L Ward, Uptown: Magic Johnson Gives Obamacare An Assist (Jan. 15)