What Did Lenny Kravitz Say About ‘Black Media?’

After calling out certain media platforms for not acknowledging him in a recent interview, Lenny Kravitz issued a clarification today on his social media channels. “It is important to me to set the record straight on recent media reports based on an interview I did,” he explained. “The comment I made was not about ‘Black media’ or the ‘Black community.’ I was referring to Black award shows in particular.”

So, what did he say that got “the Black community” so riled up that he had to make a statement?

During his interview with Esquire, Kravitz lamented, “To this day, I have not been invited to a BET thing or a Source Awards thing. And it’s like, here is a Black artist who has reintroduced many Black art forms, who has broken down barriers — just like those that came before me broke down. That is positive. And they don’t have anything to say about it?”

As Lenny points out, as one of the very few Black artists making rock music over the past three decades — y’know, the genre that Black folks invented — it does seem that he feels like those awards shows have overlooked his contributions, inadvertently reaffirming the stereotypes that allowed rock to be appropriated in the first place (of course, he might be a little out-of-touch himself, as the Source Awards haven’t been held in nearly 20 years).

So it turns out, Kravitz didn’t really have much to say about “Black media” so much as specific awards show producers who’ve left him out of the conversation. Of course, when quotes get picked up by other publications, they can be reframed in ways that can change the tenor and even the substance of the quotes, which is why it’s always important to read beyond the headlines.