Review: ‘Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison,’ starring Romany Malco, Regina Hall, Tami Roman, Alkoya Brunson and Lyne Odums

July 31, 2020

by Carla Hay

Romany Malco, Tami Roman, Alkoya Brunson and Lyne Odums in “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” (Photo courtesy of Cranked Up Films)

“Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” 

Directed by Romany Malco

Culture Representation: Taking place in Florida and filmed in “mockumentary” style, the comedic film “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” has a predominantly African American cast (with some white people and one Asian) representing the working-class, the middle-class and prison inmates.

Culture Clash:  A boastful ex-convict tries to become a famous life coach/motivational speaker and comes up against many obstacles.

Culture Audience: “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” will appeal primarily to people who like comedies that have a lot of crude and vulgar humor but also an underlying positive message.

Romany Malco and Regina Hall in “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” (Photo courtesy of Cranked Up Films)

Would you want an ex-convict to be your life coach? That’s a question posed in “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison,” a mockumentary-style comedy film starring Romany Malco as Tijuana “T.J.” Jackson, an egotistical ex-con character he created for YouTube videos that became so popular that Malco decided to make a movie about the character. Malco wrote, directed and edited “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison,” which mostly succeeds in showing laugh-out-loud moments while making some underlying social commentary about the prison system and obstacles faced by ex-cons who try to turn their lives around after they’re released from prison.

Instead of taking the predictable route of being a slapstick-heavy film, “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” (which takes place in Florida) does something a little different: It’s filmed as a mockumentary directed by a privileged film student named Rachel “Rach” Cho (played by Shannon Dang), who’s about to graduate from college. Rachel is worried about finding a job and paying for her student loans, while knowing that a college degree is no guarantee of success.

Rachel comments, “What’s even more depressing? Reading the blog of a felon who’s even more optimistic about his future that I am of mine … I had to meet this man face-to-face.”

Who is this prison inmate? Tijuana Jackson, who is about to be released from prison again after being locked up for longer than Rachel has been alive. (The movie doesn’t go into details about Tijuana’s arrest record, but it’s mentioned that he’s been arrested multiple times for various offenses.) Rachel also decides that her last assignment for her film-school class is going to be a 10-minute documentary about Tijuana’s prison release and his life after prison.

Accompanied by fellow student cameraman Tyler Cassidy (played by Tyler Cassidy), Rachel heads to the fictional Miami-Daye Corrections facility to interview Tijuana before he’s released from prison. Tijuana is an arrogant blowhard who thinks he’s going to be the greatest and most famous motivational speaker of all time. That’s his goal when he gets out of prison. And he’s been practicing on his fellow inmates, who mostly ignore him while he gives his foul-mouthed and simple-minded lectures.

Tijuana’s heart is somewhat in the right place, since he seems to genuinely want to help and uplift people. But his main priority is to get very rich from giving people life advice that can help them. And he places a high value on loyalty. The only person who seems to believe that Tijuana will succeed in this goal is a fellow inmate named Upgrade (played by Bunji Garlin), a childhood friend of Tijuana’s.

While Rachel is interviewing Tijuana, as two prison guards stand nearby, a disturbing incident of brutality is caught on camera. During his enthusiastic self-promotion, Tijuana stands up, and one of the prison guards tells Tijuana that he has to sit down and remain seated during the interview. But apparently, Tijuana didn’t sit down fast enough, because the guard then tackles and assaults Tijuana, while the other guard helps restrain Tijuana.

There are racial overtones to this scene, since the prison guard who was the aggressor is white. Rachell is appalled by this assault, and she later asks Tijuana if he’s going to file a complaint for this unjustified brutality. Tijuana tells her that filing a complaint will just delay his release from prison. He says, “Do I want justice or do I want freedom?”

Meanwhile, two prison officials are interviewed for the documentary: Judy McClusky, also known as Ms. Judy (played by Kiva Jump), who is empathetic to Tijuana, but also frustrated by is reluctance to follow prison and his apparent self-delusion. She says on camera that although Tijuana presents himself as a very popular inmate with people outside the prison, in reality he’s had no visitors, no one calling him and maybe one letter the entire time he’s been incarcerated there. And she also reveals that when Tijuana was given the option to spend some of his prison sentence in a halfway house environment, he opted to stay in prison.

Another prison employee interviewed is Robert Knisel (played by Ryan O’Quinn), who is the prison’s communications/linguistics expert. His job is to translate a prisoner’ street lingo when they are talking to people who are unfamiliar with the slang terms. There’s a somewhat hilarious scene that shows him doing his job, which also has racial overtones since Robert is very straight-laced looking and it’s supposed to be amusing to see someone who looks like him know all the street lingo of tough criminals.

Tijuana is involved in the Prison Pet Rescue Program (PPRP), where inmates help train dogs provided by a local animal shelter. Tijuana has become very attached to a female mutt named Chance (“She’s smarter than my ex-girlfriend,” he quips), and wants to adopt her when he gets out of prison, but the PPRP’s policy is that the dogs are not available for adoption to civilians. Sometimes the lines of dialogue in this movie are a bit cringeworthy, such as when Judy says about this “no adoption” policy: “Prison is a bitch, but they won’t let you take that bitch with you.”

When the day comes for Tijuana’s release, he puts on a big show about how people he knows couldn’t wait for this day and are ready to throw a party for him. In reality, no one shows up to greet Tijuana after his release, and he’s left waiting outside like a sad and lonely kid who’s forgotten to be picked up from school. Tijuana is forced to ask Rachel and Tyler for a ride to his mother’s house in a Hollywood, Florida.

When they arrive at the house of his religious mother (played by Lyne Odoms), who just goes by the name Momma in the movie, Tijuana is shocked and disappointed to find out that his sassy younger sister Sharea Jackson (played by Tami Roman) is now living in his old bedroom. Sharea is a single mother to a son named Eric, nicknamed Lil’ Eric (played by Alkoya Brunson), who’s about 12 or 13 years old. (Eric has a deadbeat dad who’s not involved in raising him and is not seen or heard in the movie.)

Tijuana and Sharea immediately start bickering, while their mother tries to keep the peace. Meanwhile, Rachel and Tyler grow uncomfortable with witnessing all this family drama, so they make an excuse to leave as soon as possible. Rachel says that she has all she needs for her short documentary film. But Tijuana scolds her by telling her that they haven’t even gotten to the best parts of the film, when he begins his journey to become a rich and famous life coach/motivational speaker.

What started out as a film project that Rachel probably thought would take a day or two to film ends up taking several days, as she and cameraman Tyler get pulled into chronicling Tijuana’s hijinks (including scamming random people he meets in a park), with Eric usually along for the ride. It turns out that the blog that Tijuana had while he was in prison was actually maintained by Eric, since prisoners at the correctional facility don’t have access to computers. Eric (who is a smart, polite and likable kid) also has several marketing ideas for Tijuana that Tijuana ends up using, and then Tijuana selfishly takes credit for Eric’s ideas.

Complicating matters, the sibling rivalry between Tijuana and Sharea has festered into a lot of animosity between them. Sharea thinks that Tijuana is a loser and that his ambition to be a life coach is a joke. She has a college degree, and it’s implied that Tijuana paid for her tuition with money he made from crimes, but he has a lot of resentment that Sharea doesn’t seem grateful for how he contributed to her education.

There’s another woman in Tijuana’s life with whom he has a tense relationship. Cheryl Wagner (played by Regina Hall) is Tijuana’s parole officer, who is constantly pushing Tijuana to get a “real” job, even to the point where she fills out job application forms for him. Cheryl also happens to be Tijuana’s ex-girlfriend. Cheryl tells the documentarians that Tijuana has “a lot of potential,” but he tends to screw things up in his life. And she’s very skeptical that Tijuana has what it takes to become a life coach/motivational speaker, considering that his life is still chaotic and financially unstable.

One of the application forms that Cheryl fills out for Tijuana is to be a barista at Starbucks, which gives you an idea of the type of job that Cheryl thinks is in Tijuana’s range of qualifications. But Tijuana says he’s more qualified for higher-paying jobs than the ones Cheryl thinks he has the best chance of getting. Tijuana brags to Cheryl that he’s worked in a variety of jobs, including communications and waste management. The only problem? They were all jobs he had when he was a prisoner.

Meanwhile, Tijuana gets invited to go to Orlando to for a Toastmaster contest, which is described as “Shark Tank” for motivational speakers. The grand prize is up to $50,000 to start a business and the chance of doing a world speaking tour. The only problem? As a felon parolee, Tijuana has a limited area where he’s allowed to travel. Orlando is outside that area, and Cheryl won’t sign on off on letting him go.

“Tijuana Jackson” is by no means an intellectual film. The humor is very lowbrow and vulgar (which is expected from a street criminal like Tijuana Jackson), but his relentless ambition, constant bragging, and his refusal to acknowledge his flaws and limitations make him amusing to watch for the most part. (However, some scenes in the movie do tend to get repetitive.)

The movie’s mockumentary style elevates the material, because there are some conversations that Tijuana has that are “caught on camera” when he wasn’t aware was being recorded, or he was aware of the cameras and trying to be “shady” about what he was doing. Some of the dialogue looks improvised (which is the best way to film a mockumentary), and there are some poignant family moments (especially between Tijuana and his nephew Eric) that show the movie has some heart beyond the crudeness.

Malco (who is one of the film’s producers) shows that he has comedic talent in front of and behind the camera, while the other members of the cast do a good job with their roles too. Despite Tijuana’s often-misguided methods and “get rich quick” greed, his “fake it till you make it” attitude speaks to a larger culture of what many people (especially those with limited resources) feel they have to do to achieve the American Dream. Underneath the foul-mouthed jokes, “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” also has a hopeful message about ex-cons deserving a chance to turn their lives around if they have the motivation to do it.

Cranked Up Films released “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” in select U.S. cinemas on July 24, 2020. The movie’s VOD/digital release date is July 31, 2020.

Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort to include participation from Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, Regina Hall, DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin and more

April 8, 2020

Updated April 17, 2020

The following is a press release from BET:

BET announces an array of high impact initiatives to support communities of color impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Americans are being disproportionately harmed by the health and financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. BET, in partnership with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, leaders in the African American creative, civil rights and business communities will provide critical financial, educational and community support directly to the African Americans hardest hit by this crisis.

These initiatives include the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special; the creation of a relief fund in partnership with United Way Worldwide to assist people of color most impacted by this health and financial crisis, and our support of the NAACP’s Town Hall Series.

For 40 years, BET has been rooted in a legacy of helping afflicted communities of color, raising $12 million for Katrina victims and millions more for Haiti earthquake victims.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BET will use their global platform to provide critical educational and financial resources directly related to the African American community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is savagely compounding the profound health and financial vulnerabilities many Black Americans face. Every day, there are new reports of how this pandemic is killing African Americans at much higher rates than other communities.” said Scott Mills, President of BET.  “BET is using all of our resources – our capital, our media platforms, our relationships with the creative community, sponsors, businesses and charitable organizations to support our community in this time of crisis.”

The “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special, will air on Wednesday, April 22nd at 8 pm EST. The special, co-hosted by Grammy Award-Winning singer and actress Kelly Rowland, TV personality Terrence J, and actress Regina Hall; will feature virtual appearances and musical performances from some of the biggest names in music and entertainment as they share tips on how to manage, cope and help during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Celebrity guest appearances and performances will include DJ Khaled, Charlie Wilson, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Melvin Crispell III, and many more. The special will give up-to-date information and drive viewers to needed resources during this unprecedented time.  In partnership with United Way, proceeds are being donated to African American communities severely impacted by COVID-19.

“Our goal for this special is to come together in a collective spirit of strength, community and hope. As we unite in harmony and compassion, through the collective healing power of music, comedy and entertainment, we can bring restoration and inspire the world that our brighter days are ahead,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET.

Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET  will serve as Executive Producer for the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

To support these initiatives, BET has established a COVID-19 relief fund in partnership with United Way Worldwide to support African Americans that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  United Way, the largest private funder of human services in the U.S., has a presence in 95% of communities across the country, and has, for more than 130 years, mobilized the caring power of the community to advance the common good. United Way is unparalleled in its power to convene local partners, providers and resources to address the needs of vulnerable communities on the ground.

Financial donations from the joint fund will allow United Way to disburse resources to local organizations under United Ways in New York City, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago, regions that have been most impacted by this crisis.  There are long-term plans to expand these resources to other markets going forward.  In particular, United Way will be supporting families in crisis who are experiencing food insecurity and are in need of emergency assistance.

“United Way is deeply embedded in communities across our country, and our ‘local-ness’ means we know the needs on the ground and how to get the right kind of help to those who need it most,” said Stan Little, Chief Experience Officer of United Way. “We look forward to partnering with BET to bring much-needed relief and long-term recovery to already vulnerable communities that are being hit especially hard because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

BET is also providing resources and content on COVID-19 across multiple digital platforms including a four-part virtual town hall series in partnership with the NAACP.  On Wednesday, April 8, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, “Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET” will stream on and focus on how the pandemic is affecting African Americans and what steps the community can take to build an action plan for positive change. The first town hall will focus on the health, emotional, economic toll, congressional response and how activists can apply pressure to ensure legislation is equitable. Additionally, is reporting daily on what the African American community needs to know about COVID-19, and how it is impacting our lives.

You can donate to the fund beginning Friday, April 10th.  More information on BET’s partnership with UWW and additional extensions of our relief efforts are forthcoming. For further details, please visit

April 17, 2020 UPDATE

Anthony Anderson (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for VH1)

Today BET announces comedian and actor Anthony Anderson as the fourth host of the upcoming “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” special.  Anderson joins stars Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, and Regina Hall as host for the two-hour special broadcast. “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” is set to air on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 8 PM EST.

Performances include Alicia Keys with a special tribute to New York City, and a Gospel moment with Kirk Franklin featuring Fantasia, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelly Price, Tasha Cobbs, Le’Andria Johnson, and Melvin Crispell III.  Exclusive performances by John Legend, Usher, Jhene Aiko, Chloe X Halle, CeeLo Green, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Swae Lee, Tyrese Gibson, Buju Banton, DJ D-Nice, SiR, D Smoke, and Charlie Wilson.

Additional celebrity guest appearances will include Tiffany Haddish, Idris Elba, Ciara, Don Cheadle, Mike Epps, Deon Cole, Angela Rye, Dr. Rheeda Walker, Charlamagne Tha God, Symone D. Sanders, DJ Khaled and Chance The Rapper.

Expanding the reach of the telecast, BET will simulcast the special across BET and BET Her domestically, as well as their channels internationally bringing awareness to over 90 million homes.  Additionally, BET will join forces with Bounce to help expand the audience to include free, over-the-air broadcast viewers with Bounce simulcasting “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort.”

About BET

BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About United Way

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at

2019 BET Awards: Cardi B, Nipsey Hussle are the top winners

June 23, 2019

With two prizes each, Cardi B and the late Nipsey Hussle were the top winners at 18th annual BET Awards, which took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on June 23, 2019. Regina Hall hosted the show, which BET telecast live in several time zones.

Cardi B’s”Invasion of Privacy” was named Album of the Year, and she also received the award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. Nipsey Hussle (who was shot to death on Match 31, 2019) received the Humanitarian Award and the prize for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist.

Performers included Cardi B, DJ Khaled, Migos, H.E.R., Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus, Lizzo, Mustard, Lil Baby, Yung Miami of City Girls, Lucky Daye and Kiana Ledé. Presenters included Taraji P. Henson, Lena Waithe, Morris Chestnut, Yara Shahidi, Marsai Martin and the five men known as the Central Park Five, who were wrongfully imprisoned for rape and assault and exonerated years later.

Tyler Perry was honored with the Ultimate Icon Award, while Mary J. Blige received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominees for the 2019 BET Awards:

Album of the Year

Travis Scott, “Astroworld”
Meek Mill, “Championships”
Ella Mai, “Ella Mai”
The Carters, “Everything Is Love”
Cardi B, “Invasion of Privacy”*

2019 Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award

Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, “I Like It”
Childish Gambino, “This Is No America”
Drake, “In My Feelings”
Ella Mai, “Trip”*
J. Cole, “Middle Child”
Travis Scott featuring Drake, “Sicko Mode”

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist

Ella Mai
Teyana Taylor

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist

Anderson .Paak
Bruno Mars*
Childish Gambino
Chris Brown
John Legend

Best Group

Chloe x Halle
City Girls
Lil Baby & Gunna
The Carters

Best Collaboration

21 Savage featuring J. Cole, “A Lot”
Cardi B & Bruno Mars, “Please Me”
Cardi B. featuring Bad Bunny & J Balvin, “I Like It”
H.E.R. featuring Bryson Tiller, “Could’ve Been”
Travis Scott featuring Drake, “Sicko Mode”*
Tyga featuring Offset, “Taste”

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

21 Savage
J. Cole
Meek Mill
Nipsey Hussle*
Travis Scott

Best Female Hip Hop Artist

Cardi B*
Kash Doll
Megan Thee Stallion
Nicki Minaj
Remy Ma

Video of the Year

21 Savage featuring J. Cole, “A Lot”
Cardi B, “Money”
Cardi B & Bruno Mars, “Please Me”
Childish Gambino, “This Is America”*
Drake, “Nice for What”
The Carters, “Apes**t”

Video Director of the Year

Benny Boom
Colin Tilley
Dave Meyers
Hype Williams
Karena Evans*

Best New Artist

City Girls
Juice Wrld
Lil Baby*
Queen Naija

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

Erica Campbell featuring Warryn Campbell, “All of MY Life”
Fred Hammond, “Tell Me Where It Hurts”
Kirk Franklin, “Love Theory”
Snoop Dogg featuring Rance Allen, “Blessing Me Again”*
Tori Kelly featuring Kirk Franklin, “Never Alone”

Best International Act

AKA (South Africa)
Aya Nakamura (France)
Burna Boy (Nigeria)*
Dave (UK)
Dossek (France)
Giggs (UK)
Mr. Eazi (Nigeria)

Best New International Act – (Fan Voted Category)

Headie One (UK)
Jokair (France)
Nesly (France)
Octavian (UK)
Sho Madjodzi (Africa)*
Teniola Apata (Africa)

Best Actress

Issa Rae
Regina Hall
Regina King*
Taraji P. Henson
Tiffany Haddish
Viola Davis

Best Actor

Anthony Anderson
Chadwick Boseman
Denzel Washington
Mahershala Ali
Michael B. Jordan*
Omari Hardwick

YoungStars Award

Caleb McLaughlin
Lyric Ross
Marsai Martin*
Michael Rainey Jr.
Miles Brown

Best Movie

“Creed 2”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
“The Hate U Give”

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix
Candace Parker
Naomi Osaka
Serena Williams*
Simone Biles

Sportsman of the Year

Kevin Durant
LeBron James
Odell Beckham Jr.
Stephen Curry*
Tiger Woods

BET Her Award

Alicia Keys, “Raise a Man”
Ciara, “Level Up”
H.E.R., “Hard Place”*
Janelle Monáe, “Pynk”
Queen Naija, “Mama’s Hand”
Teyana Taylor, “Rose in Harlem”

Connie Orlando, executive vice president/head of Programming at BET served  as executive producer for the 2019 BET Awards, along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

For the latest 2019 “BET AWARDS” news and updates, please visit

2019 BET Awards: performers and presenters announced

June 3, 2019

The following is a press release from BET:

BET Networks announces the first group of performers for the 19th annual “BET AWARDS” including Cardi B, DJ Khaled, Migos, H.E.R., Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lizzo, Mustard, Lil Baby, City Girls’ Yung Miami, Lucky Daye and Kiana Ledé.  Hosted by Regina Hall, the “BET Awards” 2019 will air LIVE on Sunday, June 23rd at 8 PM ET from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on BET.

Additionally, the network announced the first group of presenters who will take the stage including Taraji P. HensonTaraji P. Henson, Lena Waithe, Morris Chestnut, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Morris Chestnut, Yara Shahidi, and Marsai Martin.

“The BET Awards stage has become synonymous with powerful and groundbreaking performances that are authentic and bold, celebrating the influence and power of black culture,” said Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Head of Programming at BET. “We are thrilled to continue to be the launch pad and home for some of today’s most talented and inspiring voices, as BET continues to showcase the impact of established and up-and-coming artists, providing them a global stage to share their art and creativity.”

As previously announced, Cardi B leads this year’s nominations with a total of seven, including Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, two separate nods in both the Best Collaboration and Video of the Year categories, Album of the Year and the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award. Drake follows with five nods for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, Video of the Year, Best Collaboration and the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award. Other leading nominees include Beyoncé, Travis Scott and J. Cole who received four nominations each, with  Bruno Mars, 21 Savage, Childish Gambino, H.E.R. and Ella Mai each scoring three nominations.

The “BET AWARDS” 2019 will simulcast LIVE at 8 pm ET across seven Viacom networks in the U.S. including BET, BET HER, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Classic, VH1, and Logo.  Internationally, the show will simulcast for the first-time on BET Africa at 2 am CAT on June 24th, followed by international broadcasts in the UK on June 24th at 9:00 pm BST, South Korea on June 25th at 9 pm KST and in France on June 25th at 9 pm CEST.  Internationally, BET will honor Best International Act in-show, along with the fan-voted category Best New International Act and BET International Global Good Award during the live red carpet pre-show.

Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Head of Programming at BET will serve as Executive Producer for the “BET AWARDS” 2019 along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment. is the official site for the “BET Awards” and will have all the latest news and updates about this year’s show.


BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for black entertainment, music, culture and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.


The “BET Awards” is one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The “BET Awards” franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET’s #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers, and athletes in a variety of categories.



Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full-service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For more than a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing some of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment. Collins has produced groundbreaking and award-winning television programming, including “BET Awards,” “Grammy Awards,” “Soul Train Music Awards,” “BET Honors,” “UNCF an Evening of Stars,” “ABFF Awards” and “BET Hip Hop Awards.” Collins was an executive producer of the hit TV series “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” starring Kevin Hart, and the critically acclaimed “The New Edition Story,” a biopic on the boy band that aired as a three-part miniseries on BET in January 2017. He is also the executive producer of VH1 shows “Dear Mama” and “Hip Hop Squares” with Ice Cube. Most recently, JCE executive-produced “The Bobby Brown Story.” The miniseries picked up where “The New Edition Story” miniseries left off and chronicled the talented but troubled singer’s exit from the popular 80s boy band through his solo success. It debuted on BET in September 2018 and was the highest-rated non-tentpole program on the network since “The New Edition Story.” Next for JCE is the second season of “American Soul” on BET and Netflix’s upcoming series “Rhythm and Flow.”