B. Scott Settles Discrimination Lawsuit With BET, Viacom

B. Scott Settles Discrimination Lawsuit With BET, Viacom

After nearly two years of legal battles and ongoing controversies and discussions surrounding gender identity, popular trans blogger and television personality B. Scott has finally settled a workplace discrimination lawsuit with BET and its parent company, Viacom.

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in the summer of 2013, alleged that the trans media personality (who prefers to go by male pronouns) was discriminated against for dressing in clothing that BET officials considered not "masculine" enough while hosting the Style Stage pre-show on the red carpet at the BET Awards.

In a statement on his official website Thursday, Scott said the matter "is resolved," and that although it is hard to do, it’s always good to fight for what you believe in. 

"I'm proud to say I'm part of the change," wrote Scott. "I truly hope that by walking in my truth it encourages others to be who they are."

The incident in question stemmed from Scott's attire at the 2013 BET Awards, which he said was approved by BET officials before he began his on-camera hosting duties. Scott was wearing loose black pants, a sleeveless top, a flowing navy tunic, and high heels, when he says he was literally "pulled off the red carpet" by BET personnel and ordered to change into something more "masculine."

"I needed to pull my hair back, mute my makeup, change into solely men's clothing, and take off my heels and put on flats," Scott recalls being told. "That to me was just so shocking, it was like, 'You're not accepted. We do not approve of you.' It made me feel less than, it made me feel like something was wrong with me."

Athough Scott complied with the request and changed his attire, his primary hosting duties were reassigned to a female host, while Scott was featured only at the end of the pre-show, in a capacity he said was severely diminished from what he'd signed up for. 

Details of the settlement have yet to be released, but Scott’s original lawsuit was for $2.5 million in damages. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palzuelos last April that BET did not discriminate against Scott, but he appealed the decision.

"It's never an easy decision to stand up for yourself and fight for your right to be who you are," Scott said in Thursday's statement. "It's something that I believe in and it’s something that I’ll always continue to defend."

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