BET To Bow '106 & Park' Special On Domestic Violence

In the wake of R&B singer Chris Brown's alleged assault of girlfriend Rihanna, Black Entertainment Television's  106 & Park series Thursday will air a two-hour special on relationship abuse and domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Nickelodeon is under increased pressure to drop Brown and Rihanna as nominees for the network's March 28 2009 Kids Choice Awards.
BET's 106 & Park will team with anti-abuse groups Break The Cycle, Center Against Domestic Violence and The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline on the special, which will feature such talent as Former 106 & Park host Free; community activist Kevin Powell; psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Michelle; and "America's doctor" Dr. Jeff Gardere, according to the network.
"Relationship abuse has always been present with teens, but recent events have forced tough conversations," said Stephen Hill, BET's president of entertainment, in a statement. "We've been very careful to not sensationalize this sensitive issue. BET and 106 & Park are determined to serve our audience with careful dialogue and direction for those affected."
Brown last Thursday was charged with felony assault  stemming from the couple's Feb. 8 confrontation which left popular singer Rihanna with serious bruises and cuts to her face.
On the Nick front, is reporting that an online group dubbed Twittermoms has launched an online petition demanding the network nix Brown from the ballot due to the alleged incident.
Nickelodeon has said that since Brown was chosen by the kids as a nominee in the award show's best male singer category that he would remain on the ballot.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.