BET, REVOLT TV Set COVID-19 Themed Specials

BET and REVOLT TV are planning special programming that look to shine a light on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on minority communities.

REVOLT TV's Sean 'Diddy' Combs 

REVOLT TV's Sean 'Diddy' Combs 

REVOLT TV Thursday will televise a live town hall event moderated by network founder and owner Sean ‘Diddy” Combs. The two-hour discussion, Life or Death; The State of Black America & The Cornoavirus: Its United Effect but Unequal Burden will include Combs, Rev. Al Sharpton, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, CNN personality Van Jones and hip hop performer Meek Mill, and will include segments dealing with the public health issues, the low-income effect, incarceration and economic relief, and the mental toll of quarantine, said the network.

BET is partnering with the NAACP and the United Way Worldwide to produce a special, Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort on April 22 that will feature numerous entertainment personalities sharing their tips on how to manage, cope and help during the pandemic crisis. Singer/actress Kelly Rowland, actor Terrence J and actress Regina Hall will co-host the event, which will feature appearances by DJ Kaled, Charlie Wilson, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia and Melvin Crispell III.

As part of the event, BET and the United Way Worldwide have created a relief fund to assist people of color most impacted by the pandemic, both health-wise and from a financial perspective.

“Our goal for this special is to come together in a collective spirit of strength, community and hope," said Connie Orlando, executive VP specials, music programming & music strategy at BET in a statement. "As we unite in harmony and compassion, through the collective healing power of music, comedy and entertainment, we can bring restoration and inspire the world that our brighter days are ahead,” 

On the digital front, BET on April 8 teamed with the NAACP to create a four part virtual town hall series titled Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET that will stream on

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.