Fans were stumped when the network failed to honor the Grammy winner, fueling a debate over identity and expression

On 1 June, BET, the US cable channel primarily aimed at Black viewers, announced nominations for this year’s edition of its long-running awards show. The 23-year-old queer Black rapper Lil Nas X received zero nominations.

Many of the rapper’s fans found the shut-out odd. He is, they pointed out, in the middle of a highly successful campaign (for the genre-spanning album Montero) that includes multiple Grammy nominations, two No 1 singles in the US, and a forthcoming world tour.

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