Transgender Host Sues BET for Gender-Identity, Expression Discrimination

Transgender TV host and Internet personality B. Scott is suing BET Networks for $2.5 million for gender-identity and gender-expression discrimination along with five other alleged complaints, after an incident at the 2013 BET Awards. Scott claims he was harassed and pulled from his post for being in women’s clothing, even though his wardrobe was pre-approved by the network and broadcast sponsors.

Scott said in the suit that he was pulled backstage during the show and yelled at for being unacceptable. He was forced to take off his makeup, pull his hair into a ponytail, change into menswear and remove his heels, changing his gender identity and expression, according to the claim.

He also claims that after changing into menswear, he was replaced with co-host Adrienne Bailon and was not allowed to keep presenting. BET released a statement after the incident, claiming they “embrace global diversity” and that the incident was due to “unfortunate miscommunications from both parties.” Scott called the statement a “non-apology” on his website and is still pursuing the lawsuit.

Eleven states in the U.S. prohibit gender identity discrimination under the law in public and private jobs. The gender-identity laws in California apply to those who identify as transsexuals, transvestites and those with “traits not stereotypically associated with their gender.”

If you have been a victim of gender identity discrimination in the workplace, contact our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys today for a free consultation.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys