BET announced in early December that the cable network would unveil a line-up of holiday films throughout the month.

With films like “The Christmas Surprise” and “Holiday Heartbreak,” BET brought in the star power with familiar Black Hollywood faces including Wendy Raquel Robinson, Reginal Vel Johnson, Michael Coylar, AJ Johnson, LisaRaye McCoy.

Another feel-good film, “The Christmas Lottery,” which originally aired on Dec. 12, stars Vel Johnson as a father who requests his three estranged daughters Diedre, Nicole, and Tammy to come home for Christmas for a big announcement: he has won a $10 million lottery! 

To get their share, the sisters must repair their broken relationship.  However, like any movie, the plot thickens. When the family matriarch forgets where she placed the ticket, due to her dementia, the family begins a race to retrieve it and rectify the family’s dysfunction all before Christmas. 

“The Christmas Lottery” will continue to air this month on BET, BET Her, and BET Plus. It’s also available on-demand. 

Cast members Asia’h Epperson (“Greenleaf”), Brave Williams (“The Available Wife”), and Candice Dillard Bassett (“Real Housewives of Potomac”) opened up to The Atlanta Voice about working on the film’s set and praised the network for creating positive representation during the holiday season, post a year that has been filled with racial brutality and social injustice incidents.

“BET: you know, I’m just really thankful for the opportunity they gave me to join this talented group of people,” Bassett said. “With so much that we have seen in our culture this year, the decimation of our people unjustly and other unfortunate events, our community needs movies like this as a reminder that we can excel and surpass.”

Further, Williams opened up about how working during a pandemic was rather conducive under the network’s protocol. 

“They took really good care of us while filming,” she said. We were taking tests consistently in addition to social distancing. The experience was a bit of a teaching tool as to how you can work projects but still take precautions successfully.”

As of late, audiences have seen an influx of original TV shows and movies on BET, including a variety of offerings stemming from the network’s partnership with media mogul Tyler Perry. More importantly, viewers have expressed satisfaction with seeing an increase in positive imagery with people of color. 

“Greenleaf” alumna Epperson explained the importance in making “The Christmas Lottery.” 

“Honestly, this movie is important simply because we’re telling a story with faces and struggles our people can relate to,” she said. “We need that and we’re seeing the improvements in that. BET is bringing that to the people.”

BET’s “Christmas Lottery” stars Candace Dilliard, Brave and (Photo: BET Networks)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *