Stars including Janelle Monae and Jazmine Sullivan criticised the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade during the BET Awards in Los Angeles.
Empire actor Taraji Henson hosted Sunday’s ceremony and also raised concerns over the Supreme Court decision to overturn the right to access an abortion.
She took to the stage after Lizzo opened the show with her single About Damn Time and said “It’s about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than women.
“It’s a sad day in America,” Henson said, thanking Lizzo who recently donated $1m in tour proceeds to Planned Parenthood.
“A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman that can give life – if she chooses to.”
Monae held up her middle finger toward the court before introducing the nominees for the best female R&B/pop artist and her speech received a standing ovation.
She said: “These artists are making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body and our decisions, my body.”
Jazmine Sullivan was announced as the winner and she used the opportunity to ask men to support women.
“I want to speak directly to the men: We need y’all. We need y’all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us,” she said.
“If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing.
“This is not just a woman issue. This is everybody’s issue. We need your support more than ever.”
Among the winners of this year’s awards were The Weeknd, Mary J Blige, Tems, Zendaya, and P Diddy.
Since the ruling was handed down by the Supreme Court on Friday, several celebrities have hit out at the justices for the decision.
Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Kendrick Lamar referenced the decision during the performances at Glastonbury, while Kim Kardashian wrote a message on her Instagram story, reading: “In America guns have more rights than women.”