Diddy's Emotional Shoutout To Cassie At The BET Awards Sparks Backlash

The 2022 BET Awards were sparking controversy in the weeks leading up to the event, so it's no wonder that the award show itself brought some drama. Most notably, the voting academy neglected 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 invite to the Black Entertainment Television awards as a white rapper. Per Variety, he showed up wearing a t-shirt displaying Lil Nas X as a sign of protest.

From the controversial attendance of Jussie Smollett to the surprise appearance of Kanye "Ye" West, it was a night full of headline-making moments. One of the most memorable speeches of the night, however, came from Sean "Diddy" Combs. According to the Daily Mail, the rapper dated singer Cassie Ventura for over a decade before their 2018 split. And while the song he penned about her, "Gotta Move On," would suggest it's all in the past, Combs used the BET stage to bring up his history.

Fans took issue with Diddy thanking his ex

While accepting his BET Lifetime Achievement award, Sean "Diddy" Combs thanked those who had played a role in his success. The shoutouts seemed pretty routine until he added, "And also Cassie, for holding me down in the dark times. Love." After Hollywood Unlocked shared Diddy's speech on Instagram, fans in the comments and on Twitter had a lot of thoughts.

Some fans thought it was odd for Combs to bring up his ex. Hollywood Life noted that his performance was dedicated to his late ex-girlfriend Kim Porter and his new girlfriend, Yung Miami, who was in the crowd. "He got this girl in the crowd holding a sign while he mentioning Cassie and Kim," one viewer tweeted. "See why you don't claim men!!!!" another chimed in. "Caresha sitting here waving a 'Go Papi' sign ... only for Diddy to thank his ex-gfs." 

Some were on the rapper's side. "Diddy and Miami barely been kicking it. Cassie was with that man for over decade. Kim was damn near his wife. Y'all too old not to know there are levels to this," one user tweeted. Underneath Hollywood Unlocked's Instagram post of Diddy's speech, one fan wrote (to the tune of nearly 1,000 likes), "It's not that deep, she was there for him through tough times and he thanked her." Still, it may have been unwanted attention. "I feel like Cassie would like to be excluded from this narrative," one Twitter user quipped.