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Several stars at the BET Awards ceremony Sunday night used the stage to criticize the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent abortion ruling.
“It’s a sad day in America,” actress and singer Taraji P. Henson told the crowd at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Henson also claimed guns in America had more rights than women, following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“It’s about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman,” Henson said. “A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman that can give life – if she chooses to,” she added.
Janelle Monae, a singer-songwriter and actress, similarly criticized the Supreme Court, holding her middle finger up as she read the nominations for best female R&B/pop artist.
“These artists are making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body and our decisions, my body,” the singer said.
“F– you Supreme Court,” Monae added. “I know we’re celebrating us right now as we should. We absolutely deserve to celebrate — especially now we should celebrate our art by protecting our right and our truths.”
Jazmine Sullivan, a Philadelphia-born singer-songwriter, described the post-Roe America as “a hard time” for women and called on men to “stand up.”
“I want to speak directly to the men: We need y’all,” Sullivan said. “We need y’all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us. If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing. This is not just a woman issue. This is everybody’s issue. We need your support more than ever.”
Several stars were in attendance, including Sean “Diddy” Combs who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as Lil Wayne, Chance the Rapper, Ella Mai, Roddy Ricch and Kirk Franklin.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.