NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BET News presents “State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris” hosted by Soledad O’Brien – an exclusive half-hour primetime news special filmed at the White House featuring a one-on-one conversation between O’Brien and Vice President Harris. The interview focuses on a range of substantive issues impacting the Black community including vaccine hesitancy and access, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, police reform, and voting rights. “State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris” premieres Friday, July 9 at 8/7c on BET.
Select quotes from special “State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris”:
The Vice President on vaccine hesitancy: “One in three Black people in America know somebody who has died from this disease. And here's the other point that I will make, virtually everyone who is in a hospital right now because of COVID-19 is unvaccinated. Virtually everyone who has died from COVID-19 was unvaccinated. So, the thing that I just want to remind folks of is that you have the power. Don't let anybody take your power from you. You have the power to save your life. You have the power to make a decision about what happens to your body. Don't let people dupe you into thinking that this thing is not going to help you, it will help you. And it will save your life.”
The Vice President on the administration’s plan to fight crime and reform police departments: “We should not be offered and certainly not accept a false choice. Like when we're talking about gun violence, we need to deal with that. So as an administration, we're saying for example, the firearms dealers that those who are violating the law, there needs to be a consequence for that. On the issue of policing, we need accountability. And we are, and I was actually one of the original authors of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and I feel very strongly that needs to be passed. There needs to be accountability for police officers who break the rules or break the laws.”
The Vice President on the fight over voting rights: "It's about using the bully pulpit to help people see what's happening in the midst of all the daily issues that they have. You know, we're not in an election year. You know, we tend to rally when we know the election is about to happen. But right now, we need to start rallying, because these laws are being passed right now that will make it almost impossible, at least very difficult, for you to vote."
“BET continues to lead the charge with content that speaks to the timely and critical issues impacting our community,” said BET President Scott Mills. “Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we utilize the power of media to drive important conversations affecting our health and welfare. We look forward to facilitating this dialogue with Vice President Harris and tackling these topics head on to engage and empower our viewers like no other brand can.”
Leading up to Friday’s premiere, on BET’s social media platforms, viewers can catch a series of short conversations between members of our community and Biden-Harris administration members, straight talk about the vaccine, misinformation, and real dollars aimed at helping Black families and businesses recover from the pandemic. Watch the digital dialogue now on BET.com at: https://www.bet.com/news/national/2021/07/02/dr-anthony-fauci-coronavirus-COVID-vaccine-mark-tallman-ronreaco-lee.html
“As Americans face the triple threat of COVID, economic challenges and political polarization over important issues like police reform and voting rights, this was a critical time to sit down with Vice President Harris and ask hard questions about what government is doing to heal our communities and unite us going forward," said O'Brien. "I look forward to sharing her insights with the BET audience this Friday."
“State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris” is executive produced by Jason Samuels for BET; Steven Ramey serves as Supervising Producer.
BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.
ABOUT SOLEDAD O’BRIEN:
Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist who anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” O’Brien, founder and CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions, also reports for HBO Real Sports and has authored two books. She has appeared on all three major networks, Fox and Oxygen and anchored and reported for NBC, MSNBC and CNN. She has won numerous awards, including three Emmys, the George Peabody award, an Alfred I DuPont prize and the Gracie. Newsweek Magazine once named her one of the “15 People Who Make America Great.” With her husband, she is founder of the PowHERful Foundation that helps young women get to and through college. Follow her on Twitter: @soledadobrien