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Black Entertainment Television is under fire over its new drama series, The Quad, about life on the fictional Black campus of Georgia A&M University.

The HBCU Digest published a three-page letter from Hampton University President William R. Harvey to BET’s President Debra Lee. In it, Harvey criticized the program for showing Historically Black Colleges and Universities in a negative light, saying that HBCUs “cannot afford this kind of storytelling.”

Harvey wrote that most people have little knowledge about HBCUs, and form their views based on what they see on TV.

“What I saw on BET February 1st was not accurate; rather, it was a bogus representation of very important and historic institutions,” Harvey stated in his letter dated Feb. 3.

He complained that the show bypasses academic life to display the salacious and immoral escapades of the university’s president, students and band director.

Harvey writes, via HBCU Digest:

“The Quad will lead many to believe that HBCUs exist because of their marching bands; that our presidents are unethical; that our boards are dysfunctional and have misplaced priorities; that our faculty, students and administrators are driven by sex, alcohol, marijuana, low self-esteem, parties and a preoccupation with music; that it is acceptable to disrespect women; that university policy can be set by a band director; and that there are no standards of conduct or penalties for bad behavior. This depiction seems more analogous to a disgruntled, adolescent and unrealistic point of view that some may have. It also feeds a false narrative about the irrelevance of HBCUs.”

The news outlet said Harvey is particularly disturbed by how the show depicts female collegiate leadership, which he has helped to nurture over the years.

According to the Digest, several HBCU presidents wrote Harvey to applaud his letter to BET.



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