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Janelle Monáe says ‘f**k you Supreme Court’ in powerful BET Awards speech

Emily Chudy June 27, 2022
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Janelle Monae wearing a strappy black dress

Janelle Monáe speaks onstage during the 2022 BET Awards. (Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET)

Musician and icon Janelle Monáe sent a special message to the Supreme Court during the BET Awards on Sunday (26 June).

Referencing the Supreme Court’s decision to tear down Roe v Wade, which protected the right to abortion, on Friday (24 June), Monáe held up their middle finger and said: “F**k you, Supreme Court.”

She added: “I’d like to give a special, special shoutout to Black women, to Black queer artists, to Black non-binary artists.

“These artists making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body, and our decisions, my decision.

I know we are celebrating us right now, as we should – we absolutely deserve to celebrate especially now. We must celebrate our art by protecting our right and our truths.”

The Hollywood Reporter said that while the swear word was bleeped out of the live awards, the middle finger was shown.

Musician Lizzo and actor Taraji P. Henson also drew attention to the Supreme Court decision at BET Awards, with Henson praising Lizzo’s donation to healthcare charity Planned Parenthood.

The musician announced on Friday (24 June), that she would be donating $500,000 to the organisation, with Live Nation offering another $500,000.

“Thank you, Lizzo, for pledging $1 million dollars to Planned Parenthood,” Henson said. “And you damn right – it’s about damn time. It’s about damn time we step into our power. It’s about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman.

“It’s a sad day in America.”

The United States Supreme Court officially overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling which legalised abortion across the country on Friday.

The decision, which was widely expected, means that it will now be up to individual states to decide their own abortion laws.

The ruling paves the way for at least 25 states to make abortion illegal, with many of those likely to ban the practice in almost all circumstances.

Politicians, advocacy groups, and citizens alike have condemned the move to strike down Roe v Wade, with Michelle Obama saying she is “heartbroken” by the move.

“This horrifying decision will have devastating consequences, and it must be a wake-up call, especially to the young people who will bear its burden,” she said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“This moment is difficult, but our story does not end here. It may not feel like we are able to do much right now, but we can. And we must.”

More: BET awards, janelle monae, supreme court

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