BET founder Robert L. “Bob” Johnson has expressed disappointment with the current direction of the Democratic party.
In an interview with CNBC this week, Johnson said he considers himself a longtime centrist and Democrat, and shared his thoughts on the 2020 presidential race.
“The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” he explained.
Johnson said he supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, but isn’t so sure about the current crop of Democratic presidential contenders.
“And for that reason, I don’t have a particular candidate (I’m supporting) in the party at this time,” he said. “I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, then that person, he or she, will have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that.”
Johnson went on to praise President Trump for creating jobs and the economy.
“I think the economy is doing great, and it’s reaching populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs and employments and the opportunities that come with employment… so African-American unemployment is at its lowest level, ” he added.
Johnson launched Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1979. The Mississippi native started the channel with an initial investment of $500,000 and turned it into a billion dollar empire.
He sold BET to Viacom for a reported $3 billion in 2000, becoming the nation’s first black billionaire, according to Forbes.
Johnson has since cut ties with BET, and is now focusing on the digital space.
In 2014, his RLJ Entertainment launched Urban Movie Channel (UMC) — a digital, subscription-based service devoted to films, comedy specials and documentaries for the African-American and urban audience. He has also invested in an NBA team.