Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal has teamed up with TV producer Kenya Barris and rapper 50 Cent to purchase Black Entertainment Television (BET) from ViacomCBS. The trio plans to use their collective expertise and vision to revitalize the iconic African American-focused network and take it in a new direction.
“We see a tremendous opportunity to build on the legacy of BET and create something truly innovative and groundbreaking,” O’Neal said in a statement. “We believe that by combining our talents and resources, we can create a platform that is truly reflective of the black experience and that will resonate with audiences around the world.”
The proposed acquisition of BET by O’Neal, Barris, and 50 Cent is a significant development in the entertainment industry, as it marks a major shift in ownership and control of one of the most influential media outlets for the African American community.
BET was founded in 1980 by Robert L. Johnson, and quickly became a staple for music videos, talk shows, and original programming that focused on Black culture. In recent years, however, it has faced criticism for its programming choices and lack of diversity behind the scenes.
O’Neal, Barris, and 50 Cent believe that they can address these issues and usher in a new era for BET that is more inclusive, innovative, and engaging for audiences.
“We are excited to work together to build a platform that will showcase the best of Black culture and create opportunities for new voices and perspectives to be heard,” Barris said.
The purchase of BET by O’Neal, Barris, and 50 Cent is still subject to regulatory approval, but the trio is already making plans for the future of the network. They have promised to focus on original programming, documentaries, and other content that reflects the diversity and complexity of the African American experience.
“We’re not just buying a network, we’re building a movement,” 50 Cent said. “We’re going to make sure that BET reflects the best of who we are, and that it becomes a platform for the next generation of Black creatives to tell their stories.”
The acquisition of BET by O’Neal, Barris, and 50 Cent is expected to be completed in the coming months.