Host Jammie Foxx opened the show with a monologue almost entirely focused on “Black Panther,” drawing cheers from the crowd for his praise — and an uncomfortable silence when he complimented the movie’s “real accents.”
“We don’t need a president right now, because we got our king, King T’Challa,” he said. “Ryan Coogler gave us our king.”
— BET (@BET) June 25, 2018
The actor/singer had the crowd dying in laughter with his endless quips. For one skit, he transformed into ESPN’s First Take co-host, Stephen A. Smith, when he presented Tiffany Haddish her award for best actress.
“Thank you to my grandma and all the women in my family that are strong and that have taught me great work ethic,” began Haddish. “I wanna give a shout-out to all the kids out there that’s hurting and feeling like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I can do it.’ They have a dream and don’t know if they can pursue it, guess what, you can achieve whatever you want in life. You just gotta believe in yourself.”
Foxx Unexpectedly Pulls audience members onstage to participate in bits they were unprepared for
The star’s moments of surprise were embarrassing for everyone involved, especially when he pulled audience members onstage to participate in bits they probably were not expecting.
One victim of Foxx’s guerilla hosting strategy was Donald Glover, who seemed as surprised as everyone else when Foxx called the “This Is America” singer to the stage.
“That song should not be joked about,” Foxx said, going off-script to recite the lyrics and breaking into a few of the dance moves from the song’s provocative video.
— #BETAwards (@BETAwards) June 25, 2018
Calling Glover a “true artist,” Foxx implored Glover to join him onstage, saying, “I wanna ackno
Things got awkwardonce once Glover, who seemed unaware that Foxx would be calling for his participation, took the stage, performing a few lines from “This Is America” before admitting, “I really was not expecting to get up here.”
Twitter users, enthused by the seemingly surprise bit, compared Foxx cajoling Glover into performing with “your mama saying ‘show us that little dance you be doing.’ “
Foxx also had some words about Glover’s BET Awards attire, which he described onstage as “pajamas.”
“(You) just rolled out of bed,” Foxx cracked, adding to the uncomfortable scene. “That’s how you know you’re rich: get out of bed with your pajamas on and come to the BET Awards.”
Foxx closed his monologue by recruiting another audience member to join him, picking out Michael B. Jordan in the audience and bringing him onstage to read one “Black Panther” line, which Foxx called “so significant for today, right now.”
Jordan played along with his surprise onstage appearance, approaching the mic and reciting his character Erik Killmonger’s final line of the movie. “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, because they knew death was better than bondage,” Jordan said.
Beyond a few other bits that fell flat, including one appearance in his bathrobe, Foxx wowed the crowd with his tribute to Anita Baker, who was honored with the show’s lifetime achievement award. After kicking off the tribute by showing off his falsetto, he handed over the reins to Ledisi, Marsha Ambrosius and Yolanda Adams to finish the medley of Baker’s classic songs.
— BET (@BET) June 25, 2018
“I need some ladies to do this with me,” Foxx said, bringing the women onstage.
Foxx’s performance gained mixed reviews, with many viewers expressing embarrassment on social media throughout the show.