Janelle Monaé, Jazmine Sullivan, Latto + More Put Roe Vs. Wade Centerstage At 2022 BET Awards

The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe Vs. Wade on Friday (June 24) has been an omnipresent topic for the last three days. Unsurprisingly, many celebrities are using their platforms to draw attention to the issue. As the 2022 BET Awards got underway at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night (June 26), it became immediately clear it was on everyone’s minds.

Host Taraji P. Henson didn’t waste time broaching the subject (albeit it out of breath), while first presenter Janelle Monaé used her brief time in the spotlight to call for action. Next, Jazmine Sullivan — who was presented with an award in the Best Female R&B/Hip Hop Artist category, called upon men to join the fight.

“We need y’all,” she said in part. “We need y’all to stand up, stand with us. If you have ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decision of her life — terminating a pregnancy — you need to stand up. This is not just a women’s issue. This is everybody’s issue and we need your support more than ever. OK, fellas?”

After a performance from Jack Harlow, Lil Wayne and surprise guest Brandy, an emotional Latto took home the trophy for Best New Artist but not before she made sure to point out no man was ever going to “police” her body.

Mention of the Roe Vs. Wade controversy continued throughout the evening, even though Youngstar Award winner/17-year-old actress Marsai Martin couldn’t quite get the words out, everyone knew where she was going with it.

Naturally, social media has exploded with reactions to the historical ruling — from Alicia Keys, who called it “fucking bullshit,” to Lizzo, who pledged $500,000 to Planned Parenthood. Even Eminem, who’s the father to three women, chimed in, tweeting, “As a father it pisses me off that women have fewer rights 2day than just a few days ago. We r fuckin goin bckwards. Here’s how to help in Michigan.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling has sparked hundreds of protests across the country, especially in major cities such as New York City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.