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B. Scott, Transgender TV Personality, Sues BET for Discrimination

B. Scott, a transgender TV personality, has sued Black Entertainment Television (BET) as well and its parent company Viacom, for gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation discrimination, according to Scott's lawyer, Waukeen McCoy.

"I have been vehemently trying to come to a resolution with BET and Viacom behind the scenes. After a few weeks of back and forth dialogue with no foreseeable resolution, I have filed a lawsuit," Scott writes on her web site.

Scott's dispute with BET and Viacom arose from her Los Angeles appearance at the 2013 BET Awards pre-show in June, in which she was working as a transgender woman on the red carpet as a style correspondent.

As the show progressed, says Scott, BET executives said her appearance was "wasn't acceptable" and pulled her from hosting duties.

"Any form of discrimination is wrong and has no place in the work environment, in Corporate America or in Hollywood," says lawyer McCoy, who's based in San Francisco and has represented the LGBT community, in a statement.

Scott adds in that press release, "It's not just about the fact that BET forced me to pull my hair back, asked me to take off my makeup, made me change my clothes and prevented me from wearing a heel. It's more so that from the mentality and environment created by BET made me feel less than and that something was wrong with who I am as a person."

Scott sued in Los Angeles Superior Court for a public apology and $2.5 million in damages.

BET did not comment to the press about the lawsuit, but released a statement last month about the incident:

"BET Networks embraces global diversity in all its forms and seeks to maintain an inclusive workforce and a culture that values all perspectives and backgrounds. The incident with B. Scott was a singular one with a series of unfortunate miscommunications from both parties. We regret any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community and we seek to continue embracing all gender expressions."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Patrick Range McDonald on Twitter at @PRMcDonald.


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