Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe Slam Supreme Court at BET Awards: ‘It’s a Sad Day in America’

Taraji P. Henson BET Awards 2022 (Credit: YouTube)

After taking the stage at Sunday’s BET Awards, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe launched blistering attacks on the Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade and rolling back abortion rights.

Henson, who hosted the night’s awards, began her monologue with a bit of humor about the celebrity audience inside L.A.’s Microsoft theater and the nation’s high gas prices.

“You look successful, expensive, you look like you can afford these gas prices,” she quipped.

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The Empire alum then delivered a message about a woman’s right to choose and gun violence.

“It’s about damn time we step into our power. It’s about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman… It’s a sad day in America. A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman who can give life — if she chooses to,” she said.

Monáe, who presented the award for best female R&B/pop artist, reminded the audience that June is Pride month and talked about “protecting our rights.”

“I’d like to give a special, special shoutout to Black women, to Black queer artists, to Black nonbinary artists,” she said. “These artists 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 decisions.”

“F–k you Supreme Court,” she added while holding up a middle finger. “I know we’re celebrating us right now, as we should. We absolutely deserve to celebrate. Especially now, we must celebrate our art by protecting our rights and our truths.”

Jazmine Sullivan, who moments later won the award for best female R&B/pop artist, also criticized the court and urged men to support a woman’s right to choose.

“It’s a hard time right now for us, and I want to speak directly to the men. We need y’all. We need y’all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us,” she said. “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 with us.”

Watch Sullivan’s speech below.