Taraji P. Henson Opens BET Awards With a Jab at Trump’s ‘Black Jobs’ Comment

Whether you watched it live or did something (anything) else in an effort to preserve your mental health, you probably haven’t been able to ignore the discourse about the CNN presidential debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump that took place on Thursday (June 27). It’s saturated culture so much that even BET Awards host Taraji P. Henson got in on the action during the Sunday (June 30) broadcast of the awards show.


While Biden’s widely panned showing ate up a lot of the post-debate narrative, plenty has also been said about Trump’s numerous outright lies and continued demonization of immigrants during the debate. One of those comments came when he claimed that immigrants coming to America are “taking Black jobs.”

“They’re taking Black jobs now and it could be 18, it could be 19 and even 20 million people,” Trump said. “They’re taking Black jobs and they’re taking Hispanic jobs and you haven’t seen it yet but you’re going to see something that’s going to be the worst in our history.” Economists from a variety of political backgrounds have said there’s no data to support the claim that immigrants are taking jobs that would have otherwise gone to U.S. citizens.

Opening the BET Awards with a parody reworking of Kendrick Lamar’s Drake-dissing, Billboard Hot 100-topping single “Not Like Us,” Henson changed the lyrics to “it’s about us” and rocked a red hoodie in homage to K.Dot. After that, she took at jab at Trump’s comment about “Black jobs” during her opening monologue.

“[This is] a show packed full of all-stars with Black jobs. Whatever that means,” she added, drily. “But clearly we know there’s a difference – thanks for the info, but we already knew it.”

Later in the show, comedian/actor B. Simone had some fun with Trump’s “Black jobs” comment, asking folks in the audience whether jobs the TSA agent, TV judge and hairstylist were “Black jobs.” (The answers: Yes, yes and yes.)

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