BET Awards: O.J. Simpson's inclusion in the 'in memoriam' segment draws audible response from audience

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By stefan armitage

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The 2024 BET Awards - an event known for celebrating Black excellence in entertainment - took an unexpected turn as it honored controversial figure O.J. Simpson during its “In Memoriam” segment.


Held at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, the ceremony experienced an uneasy atmosphere after host Taraji P. Henson introduced the poignant "In Memoriam" segment.

"As we celebrate Black excellence tonight, we must also honor the Black excellence that we unfortunately lost this year," Henson said.

As the segment proceeded, Hydeia Broadbent - an HIV & Aids activist - appeared on screen... followed by O.J. Simpson.

The moment eliciting an audible response from the live audience, with murmors and a few claps heard.

Screenshot 2024-07-01 at 17.02.48.jpgO.J. Simpson was remembered in the BET Awards' 'in memoriam' segment. Credit: X

The tribute also included icons like Bill Cobbs, Carl Weathers, Willie Mays, and Clarence Avant, among others.

On social media, the response to Simpson's inclusion has been called into question by viewers.

"BET y'all have really lost y'all mind including Oj Simpson in the memorandum," one person tweeted on X.

"BET is deeply unserious for putting OJ Simpson in the Memoriam montage," a second added.

A third wrote: "I nearly changed the channel once OJ Simpson popped up on the screen during that in memoriam at the Bet Awards 2024. Like no… He should have been excluded."

Others questioned how Simpson was included but now Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andre Braugher.

Simpson, who died in April at the age of 76, will not only be remembered prowess as a former NFL player but also for his controversial life outside of sports.

O.J. Simpson died at age 76. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty

Infamously acquitted in the highly publicized 1995 trial for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, Simpson's legal saga remains a polarizing chapter in American history.

The former football star, also known for his acting roles in the Naked Gun franchise, faced immense scrutiny throughout his life, had his NFL legacy overshadowed by the lingering accusations and legal battles - with many people to this day disagreeing with his acquittal.

O.J. Simpson was arrested on June 17, 1994. Credit: Kypros/Getty

Despite being found not guilty in the criminal trial, a subsequent civil court ruling held him liable for the deaths and ordered substantial financial compensation to the victims' families, The Independent reports.

In recent years, Simpson battled prostate cancer while maintaining a public presence through social media and occasional commentary on high-profile cases, often drawing criticism and renewed scrutiny from the public.



As debates over Simpson's legacy persist, his portrayal in the “In Memoriam” segment at this year's BET Awards serves as yet another time the NFL player left people divided.

Featured image credit: Pool/Getty

BET Awards: O.J. Simpson's inclusion in the 'in memoriam' segment draws audible response from audience

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

The 2024 BET Awards - an event known for celebrating Black excellence in entertainment - took an unexpected turn as it honored controversial figure O.J. Simpson during its “In Memoriam” segment.


Held at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, the ceremony experienced an uneasy atmosphere after host Taraji P. Henson introduced the poignant "In Memoriam" segment.

"As we celebrate Black excellence tonight, we must also honor the Black excellence that we unfortunately lost this year," Henson said.

As the segment proceeded, Hydeia Broadbent - an HIV & Aids activist - appeared on screen... followed by O.J. Simpson.

The moment eliciting an audible response from the live audience, with murmors and a few claps heard.

Screenshot 2024-07-01 at 17.02.48.jpgO.J. Simpson was remembered in the BET Awards' 'in memoriam' segment. Credit: X

The tribute also included icons like Bill Cobbs, Carl Weathers, Willie Mays, and Clarence Avant, among others.

On social media, the response to Simpson's inclusion has been called into question by viewers.

"BET y'all have really lost y'all mind including Oj Simpson in the memorandum," one person tweeted on X.

"BET is deeply unserious for putting OJ Simpson in the Memoriam montage," a second added.

A third wrote: "I nearly changed the channel once OJ Simpson popped up on the screen during that in memoriam at the Bet Awards 2024. Like no… He should have been excluded."

Others questioned how Simpson was included but now Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andre Braugher.

Simpson, who died in April at the age of 76, will not only be remembered prowess as a former NFL player but also for his controversial life outside of sports.

O.J. Simpson died at age 76. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty

Infamously acquitted in the highly publicized 1995 trial for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, Simpson's legal saga remains a polarizing chapter in American history.

The former football star, also known for his acting roles in the Naked Gun franchise, faced immense scrutiny throughout his life, had his NFL legacy overshadowed by the lingering accusations and legal battles - with many people to this day disagreeing with his acquittal.

O.J. Simpson was arrested on June 17, 1994. Credit: Kypros/Getty

Despite being found not guilty in the criminal trial, a subsequent civil court ruling held him liable for the deaths and ordered substantial financial compensation to the victims' families, The Independent reports.

In recent years, Simpson battled prostate cancer while maintaining a public presence through social media and occasional commentary on high-profile cases, often drawing criticism and renewed scrutiny from the public.



As debates over Simpson's legacy persist, his portrayal in the “In Memoriam” segment at this year's BET Awards serves as yet another time the NFL player left people divided.

Featured image credit: Pool/Getty