B. Scott is the television and radio personality who sued BET for gender discrimination after the BET Awards last year. Scott lost the case after it was dismissed in April but vowed it wasn’t over and was set to appeal. On Wednesday TMZ reported that BET made B. Scott an offer that he totally could resist and the fight is still on.
In an official statement released by B. Scott, the transgender media personality will not accept the offer from BET/Viacom. The network’s legal fees are Scott’s responsibility to the tune of $300,000 according to the April ruling. Scott planned to appeal and BET offered to cut the cost in half if Scott would agree not to press on with an appeal.
It isn’t a win for B. Scott to agree to BET’s deal. He would still owe them $150,000 in legal fees and would have to drop the appeal. Considering that B. Scott vowed to fight until the end for equality, no one is shocked that he refused to consider it.
For those who may have missed it, BET hired B. Scott to host at the 2013 BET Awards. Scott was then whisked off the red carpet during the event and told to change into a pantsuit. B. Scott is transgender and never associates as male in public. The experience was humiliating and absolutely not what Scott expected when he took the BET job.
The issue of legality here all depends on the type of discrimination and that is what B. Scott is fighting for. Scott is saying that BET’s censorship of his outfit was illegal because of the first amendment rights (freedom of speech.) That is sort of a stretch but it might be possible. In reality, an argument of a Title VII civil rights violation might have been a better angle. Gender discrimination is illegal under that law at the federal level but sexual preference is not.
If B. Scott can prove BET discriminated based on his status of gender identity and not sexual preference, then he will have a case in that respect. There are cases of transgender discrimination in employment being protected under the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964. In B. Scott’s case, it really depends on the language of the contract between BET and B. Scott though assuming Scott was a contractor and not an employee.
The gender discrimination case between B. Scott and BET/Viacom could get really messy. However, it does have the potential to make powerful changes in the way transgender individuals are viewed and protected in the workplace. What do you think of BET’s offer and B. Scott’s refusal to settle? Sound off in the comments below.