Diddy’s emotional salute to Cassie at the BET Awards sparks a backlash

The 2022 BET Awards sparked controversy in the weeks leading up to the event, so it’s no wonder the awards ceremony itself brought with it some drama. Most notably, the Choice Academy failed to nominate chart-topping artist Lil Nas X, prompting him to start a Twitter conversation about homophobia in the black community. Jack Harlow, Nas’ Industry Baby collaborator, was also scrutinized for accepting his invitation to the Black Entertainment Television Awards as a white rapper. Per Variety, he showed up wearing a Lil Nas X t-shirt as a sign of protest.

From the controversial attendance of Jussie Smollett to the surprise appearance of Kanye “Ye” West, it was a night of headlines. However, one of the most memorable speeches of the night came from Sean “Diddy” Combs. According to the Daily Mail, the rapper dated singer Cassie Ventura for over a decade before their split in 2018. And while the song he wrote about her, “Gotta Move On,” suggests it’s all in the past, Combs used the BET stage to air his story.

Fans had issues with Diddy thanking his ex

In accepting his BET Lifetime Achievement Award, Sean “Diddy” Combs thanked everyone who contributed to his success. The shouts seemed fairly routine until he added: “And so does Cassie for holding me in the dark times. Love.” After Hollywood Unlocked shared Diddy’s speech on Instagram, fans became concerned in the comments and on Twitter.

Some fans found it odd that Combs brought up his ex. Hollywood Life noted that his appearance was dedicated to his late ex-girlfriend Kim Porter and new girlfriend Yung Miami, who were in the crowd. “Caught this girl in the crowd with a sign while mentioning Cassie and Kim,” one viewer tweeted. “See why you don’t claim men!!!!” another interjected. “Caresha is sitting here waving a ‘Go Papi’ sign…just for Diddy to say thank you to his exes.”

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Some sided with the rapper. “Diddy and Miami barely made it. Cassie was with this man for over ten years. Kim was damn close to his wife. Y’all are too old not to know there are levels,” one user tweeted. Underneath Hollywood Unlocked’s Instagram post of Diddy’s speech, one fan (with nearly 1,000 likes) wrote, “It’s not that deep, she was there for him in difficult times and he thanked her.” Still, it could be unwanted attention . “I have a feeling Cassie wants to be left out of this narrative,” one Twitter user quipped.