BET said this morning it’s launching a series of specials, Wendy’s Style Squad, in which Wendy Williams and a panel will break down trophy show red carpet fashions. The first of five specials will launch February 16 – in time to highlight this year’s Grammy Awards. There will also be shows focused on the BET Awards (of course), the Primetime Emmy Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards.
Notice anything missing? The Academy Awards maybe?
“The purpose of the specials is to celebrate our viewers. Our viewers are African American and unfortunately the Oscars is not reflective of our community,” a BET rep told Deadline. “We hope next year that will change.”
This year at Oscar nominations time, the cries of protest over the lack of diversity among nominees was even of louder than last year – and last year’s howls were plenty loud, giving birth to #OscarsSoWhite.
In their coverage of today’s announcement, most Reporters Who Cover Television positioned Wendy’s Style Squad as a challenge to E!’s Fashion Police which has struggled since the death of Joan Rivers and subsequent exits of Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin. That red-carpet breakdown show now stars Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, and Brad Goreski (and 2016 co-hosts Nene Leakes, Margaret Cho and Kris Jenner).
Williams will be joined by a panel of fashion insiders including Bevy Smith, Lloyd Boston and Robert Verdi. Topics and segments include the “Dos and Don’ts” of celebrity fashion, hot trends, and opinionated coverage of the best and worst fashions of the big awards-show nights.
Wendy’s Style Squad is executive produced by Talia Parkinson-Jones for Debmar-Mercury and Wendy Williams Productions.