BET Awards go virtual for 20th-anniversary show

The show will go on using ‘innovative techniques’

While many events have been canceled amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 BET Awards will go on, just not as it has in previous years.

Organizers announced Wednesday that the ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 28. In a press release, BET said the ceremony, which marks 20 years on-air, will use an “array of innovative techniques and artist-generated content.”

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“At BET, we place the health and safety of attendees, staff, vendors, and partners first, which is why the biggest night in black entertainment will go on implementing this innovative production direction,” Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET said in a statement. “For the past twenty years, The BET Awards have paid homage to all things now and relevant. Despite the challenges of today, we will deliver a show filled with larger than life, inspiring, empowering and entertaining moments, which have shown the magic of our culture for over two decades.”

The show will give audiences the chance to join in a celebration of black love, joy, pride and power with a star-studded lineup. In addition to the awards ceremony celebrating a milestone, 2020 is also BET’s 40th anniversary. Organizers say the 2020 BET Awards will continue the history of giving fans can’t-miss moments on the network. Official nominations are scheduled to be announced at a later date.

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“The BET Awards are a seminal event — the biggest celebration of Black culture, Black accomplishment, Black excellence, and Black potential,” Scott Mills, President of BET said in a statement. “Our community, and the many millions who love Black culture, look to the BET Awards for signature moments of enrichment, entertainment and empowerment. Recognizing the unique role the BET Awards plays for so many, and the challenging times we find ourselves in, we know it was more important than ever to deliver the BET Awards in 2020.”

While the awards show will go on, the BET Experience, a three-day event scheduled for June 25-27 leading up to the BET Awards, has been canceled because of the pandemic. It will return in 2021, but refunds for this year's VIP packages will be issued. Visit here for more information on refunds and here for details on the 2020 BET Awards.