BET Dedicating $25M to ‘Content for Change’ Initiative

BET on Thursday announced a new social justice initiative called Content for Change designed to support the creation, distribution, marketing and promotion of content that will help eliminate systemic racism and inequality in America.

The network, part of ViacomCBS, said it and its corporate partners will dedicated $25 million to the effort.

The campaign follows the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota on May 25, which has inspired protest across the country.

BET said it will be significantly expanding its relationship with and support of social justice organizations trying to drive change. It will also work with current content partners and up-and-coming creators to call for action.

“For forty years, BET has been a unifying space for Black people to be seen, heard, showcased and celebrated. As many in America move more boldly and with a greater sense of urgency to address racial inequities, we will utilize the full breadth of our capabilities and partnerships to help drive this critical change,” says BET President Scott Mills.

The initiative will begin on Juneteenth—the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. That day, BET will premiere original short-form programming, including messages of inspiration, tenacity and hope from Black political leaders and activists.

The network will also air the movies Selma, Marshall, Race and Do the Right Thing.

BET is also launching a new Dear Black People ad created to send a message of love, joy and power to the Black community. The spot starts airing Thursday afternoon.

BET said it has made national and local buys behind the ad, with the local portion focused on cable in the top 20 African-American markets. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.