Not all Viacom Inc. networks are avoiding Janet Jackson this week. She will be featured on Black Entertainment Television in a series of vignettes celebrating Black History Month throughout February.
The 10-part series, Black History: Pass It On, features Jackson in an inspirational tribute designed to share noteworthy aspects about the lives and historic contributions made by famous and lesser-known individuals. The series began running on BET this week, and it will continue throughout February.
Jackson has been at the center of a media furor this week since she exposed her breast on national broadcast television Feb. 1 during an MTV: Music Television-sponsored Super Bowl halftime show.
Viacom, MTV and CBS, which televised the Super Bowl, have all condemned the act, which Jackson has publicly said was done without MTV’s knowledge. CBS has threatened to pull Jackson from its Feb. 8 Grammy Awards show.
BET executives informed Viacom officials before airing the vignettes, which were completed long before the Super Bowl controversy.
"Janet is a believer in the individual and collective greatness of African-American men and women," BET president and chief operating officer Debra Lee said in a prepared statement. "We commend her for taking the time and showing such passion in each vignette. Her sincerity and true commitment to the cause of spotlighting great African Americans make this an absolutely fabulous Black History Month campaign."