It all fell down when actress Stacey Dash decided to #ClapBack at BET when she stated, “If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black.” Now BET could have just been like, “Hey Stacey actually we gave Sam Smith a BET Award so don’t trip.” Instead BET has clapped back on Twitter, its website, and even decided to play a marathon of music videos featuring Stacey Dash with the hashtag #NeverForget. Besides finding this whole ordeal completely hilarious and giving BET the ThrowinShade Award of the week, I think the recent events unfolding around Stacey Dash are an excellent example of positioning.
“Positioning involves socially producing particular individuals and groups as culturally imagined types such that others and, even the person herself, at least temporarily, treat her as though she were such a person” (Holland and Leander 130).
For years Stacey Dash positioned herself or maybe was positioned through her acting choices as the “Vixen” and an active participant in Black popular culture, television, and film. Now with her recent comments and alliance with Fox&Friends, Ms. Dash is attempting to shift her position. We all know she could not play the role of the “Vixen” forever due to the ageism of the entertainment industry, but to position herself in opposition to an organization that has been inextricably linked to her career is definitely a bold move. Maybe Stacy Dash has always felt this way and took the roles she did just to pay the bills. Perhaps we the public believed the positioning of herself as an actress aligned with her views as a person. Or maybe the general public just assumed that a Black actress who encounters the racist entertainment industry on a daily basis would articulate the necessity of organizations that exist to celebrate the work of Black people within an industry that tends to overlook the work of people of color.
For more information on this story check out: http://thegrio.com/2016/01/24/bet-plays-marathon-of-music-videos-featuring-stacey-dash-uses-hashtag-neverforget/
Further Reading on positioning: Ethnographic Studies of Positioning and Subjectivity (Holland and Leander)