Transgender television personality B. Scott has filed a $2.5 million suit against BET for gender discrimination, claiming to be humiliated by the network, forced into wearing men’s clothes, and then being yanked off of BET’s awards show earlier this summer. The suit was first reported by TMZ.
Scott recounted the incident in an open letter on July 1, writing, “It’s not just about the fact that BET forced me to pull my hair back, asked me to take off my makeup, made me change my clothes and prevented me from wearing a heel. It’s more so that from the mentality and environment created by BET made me feel less than and that something was wrong with who I am as a person.”
BET later issued a staement saying that it “regret[s] the miscommunication” and “embrace[s] all gender expressions.”
Scott released a personal statement on Wedsnesday, writing:
Over the years my love muffins and strangers alike have questioned me about my gender identity. What IS B. Scott? As a society we’ve been conditioned to believe that a person has to be ‘exactly’ this or ‘exactly’ that. Biologically, I am male – as my sex was determined at birth by my reproductive organs.
Scott included a definition of what it means to be transgender as “the state of one’s gender identity not matching one’s assigned sex” and concluded by writing, “It is also by that definition that BET and Viacom willingly and wrongfully discriminated against my gender identity during the 2013 BET Awards Pre-Show.”