BET Awards Producer Connie Orlando Says The Virtual Show Will Be ‘Powerful For Everyone’

Rihanna and Mary J. Blige at BET stage
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The BET Awards will be a celebration for multiple reasons, according to its producer, Connie Orlando.

Orlando, who is the executive vice president of BET and oversees network’s programming, spoke to Variety about the historic moments that are set to occur when the award show premieres on Sunday, June 28 at 8:00 p.m., EST. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show will be taped virtually for the first time in its history. Additionally, the BET Awards is celebrating its 20-year anniversary on Sunday. The show will also air on CBS, making it the first year it has been aired on a major broadcast network.

“It’s the perfect storm,” Orlando said of the event.

“The BET Awards has always been a platform for creativity, culture, and excellence. It has always spoken to what is going on in the world and our communities… That’s what makes this award show so special. It’s going to be powerful, it will be powerful for everyone.”

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Connie Orlando attend BET's 50 Central Premiere Party on September 25, 2017 in New York City.
  Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Although Orlando says the show will be filled with the performances and glamor that it’s known for, the recent deaths of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement will be addressed during the pre-recorded show. Orlando said the protests and support of the Black Lives Matter movement aren’t lost on her or her team, and they ensured they picked someone who was just as supportive of the movement as their host. Earlier this month, The Inquisitr reported that Amanda Seales was picked to host the event. Not only is Seales known for her role in Insecure, but the comedian also uses her platform to advocate against racial injustices.

“You can expect Amanda to be classic Amanda,” Orlando promised. “There was no better choice for this year’s show,” she added.

According to Deadline, Orlando isn’t new to the BET family. She joined the network in 2007 and was promoted to EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy in October 2019. Prior to her new role, Orlando was the EVP and Head of Programming of the network, where she launched shows like Games People Play, American Soul, Tales, Boomerang, Being Mary Jane, and The Bobby Brown Story.

The 2020 BET Awards will recognize artists for their gifts in the entertainment industry, as well as for the efforts they make in their communities. Performances for the special will include Lizzo, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Drake, DaBaby, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Chloe x Halle, and Roddy Ricch. Drake is the artist with the most nominations, earning six nods from the network.