Fox News contributor — and Clueless alum — Stacey Dash has weighed in on the kerfuffle regarding the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations. Speaking with Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends today, Dash called the controversy “ludicrous” — and her comments drew praise from none other than Donald Trump.
“We have to make up our minds,” she opined. “Either we have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards — where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we’d be up in arms. It’s a double standard.” When Doocy reiterated that Dash had just said there shouldn’t be a BET, she doubled down and said, “No — just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. We’re Americans, period. That’s it.”
BET issued a tongue-in-cheek response via Twitter, linking to a photo gallery of Dash’s “improbable career as Professional Contrarian”:
BET Networks followed up with a full statement from chairman and CEO Debra Lee:
“Over 35 years ago BET was created to give African Americans and lovers of black culture a place in the television landscape where they could consistently see themselves represented and celebrated. Through our award shows and programming we have recognized incredible talent that simply does not get recognized elsewhere — from entertainment to politics to business to the arts. African American contributions to American culture are countless and we cannot and should not wait for anyone to acknowledge them — we have to do it ourselves and we are proud that we can do our part.”
BET did not mention that Eminem has won BET Awards multiple times over the years, Macklemore won one and has been nommed a few times more, Justin Timberlake’s been nommed eight times and Robin Thicke’s got a few nominations as well.
Anyway, never one to miss a potential headline-making opportunity, GOP front-runner Trump later gave Fox & Friends his 2 billion cents’ worth on the Oscars flap. “I think it’s really sad,” he told co-hosts Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Anna Kooiman in a phone interview. “I saw somebody on your show today saying, ‘Well, what do we do with BET?’ The whites don’t get any nominations. I thought it was an amazing interview, actually. I’d never even thought about it from that standpoint.”
The Donald then seemed to couch his statements, saying: “But with all that being said, I think it would be nice if everybody could be represented properly. And hopefully that’s the case, but perhaps it’s not the case. It’s a difficult situation.”
Kilmeade then asked Trump about some in the black community putting pressure on Chris Rock to bow out as this year’s Oscar host:
“Well, I think he’ll probably say something and joke about it a little bit and do it the way he does,” Trump said. “He’s a great guy — I know him pretty well. He’s a very good guy and a very funny guy. He’ll probably make a big issue about it, and I think that’s fine.”
Trump then added: “If somebody deserves it — I mean, I’ve watched over the years where African-Americans have, in fact, received the Academy Awards and have been very well represented. This is not one of those years, but over the years I’ve seen numerous black actors and African-American actors receive Academy Awards, and I think that’s great. This doesn’t happen to be one of those years. But it’s a difficult situation.
“And,” Trump concluded, “when Al Sharpton’s jumping up and down, people say, ‘Well, you know, gimme a break!'”