Debra Lee

CEO, BET Networks

Debra Lee made our 2011 Superpower list as one of the most influential minorities in cable. For the full digital edition of CableFAX The Magazine’s Diversity issue, go here.

Lee has been at the helm of BET Networks for six years, and her vision for the company is reflected in the network’s push into more original programming and its clear segue to promoting positivity among its audience. New fodder this year include scripted TV series “Reed Between The Lines” and Web-only originals “Lenox Ave,” “The Come Up,” “Odessa” and “Asylum.” Internally, Lee has been championing the programming mandate that BET content have a message, not be derogatory and show positive images. A longtime and vocal proponent of diversity, Lee has told CableFAX, “My definition of diversity is it should be across the board. You shouldn’t have to look at BET and say, ‘Well there’s an African American there.’ It’s important that we have minority representation at the other networks.”

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