AceShowbiz - Following the release of his new single "Late to da Party", in which he disses BET, Lil Nas X explains his behind-the-scenes beef with the network. In a statement to Rolling Stone, the "Old Town Road" hitmaker claims that the tension between them has been going on for "quite some time."
"My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time," Lil Nas X shared. "It didn't start with this year's nominations like most people might think."
He alleged that the network was reluctant to book him at last year's awards show, where he kissed one of his backup dancers during his performance. "They did let me perform on their show last year, but only after [I gave] assurances that I was not a satanist or devil worshiper, and that my performance would be appropriate for their audience," he added.
In response to the claims, a spokesperson for BET told Rolling Stone in a statement that the "summation of events around Lil Nas X's 2021 BET Awards performance is simply untrue." The spokesperson continued, "Since last year's performance, we have been in touch to work on other projects."
While the rep said, "We are still excited about his previous performances and continue to wish him well," it was also revealed, "But today, we are focused on culture's biggest night and delivering history-making moments for fans worldwide."
Earlier this month, Lil Nas X lashed out at BET after being snubbed at the 2022 BET Awards as he was given "an outstanding zero nominations again." He later sarcastically wrote on Twitter, "Black excellence!" A week later, the musician teased his "F**k BET" verse from "Late to da Party" on social media, though he clarified to his followers that his feelings toward BET were not about getting snubbed for nominations.
"This not over no BET award," he tweeted at the time. "This is about the bigger problem of homophobia in the black community. Y'all can sit and pretend all u want but imma risk it all for us."
As for BET, it responded to Lil Nas X's criticism in a statement. "We love Lil Nas X. He was nominated for a best new artist BET Award in 2020 and we proudly showcased his extraordinary talent and creativity on the show twice," the network's statement read. "Unfortunately, this year, he was not nominated by BET's Voting Academy, which is comprised of an esteemed group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers and creative arts."