Last Sunday, June 30th, the 24th BET Awards concluded. Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar took home the Female and Male Hip Hop Artists of the Year awards. Denzel Washington and Regina King were adjudged the best actors and actresses. There were awards in sports as well. For both males and females, basketball stars Angel Reese and Jalen Brunson took away the honors. Boxing fans had to settle for Gervonta Davis‘ nomination in the category.

However, the event wasn’t without its hiccups. The most prominent issue that gained considerable traction is the host’s faux pas. Taraji P. Henson seemingly confused YouTuber and founder of ‘Fast Food Secrets Club’ Jordan Howlett for famous social media food critic and MMA fighter Keith Lee. Many didn’t miss the oversight. One of them is Ishé Smith. The former IBF light middleweight champion wasted no time and penned his thoughts.

Keith Lee, Taraji P. Henson drama and Ishe Smith soliloquy


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The Las Vegas-born Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame inductee recently grabbed headlines for his online spat with none other than Ryan Garcia. It reached a point where callouts for sparring eventually turned up. It’s difficult to make out whether he is hitting on the positive or negative connotations of the so-called ‘Keith Lee Effect’. A piece in the Dallas News describes it as “the instant and almost crushing surge in business that follows a positive review from Lee.

However, to the former professional boxer one things in clear: despite his involvement in some of the controversies, the food and restaurant critic steers himself clear of any spat with celebrities. He wrote, “Keith Lee Effect is starting to get played out, man. He’s always in some kind of drama, not beefing with other celebs.

Taraji P. Henson has previously hosted the awards in 2021 and 2022. The mix-up happened when she was moving through the audience, giving away roses. As she walked down the aisle, she stopped and appeared to recognize Jordan Howlett, seemingly recalling that he looked like ‘Method Man’ Clifford Smith Jr., the member of the hip-hop band Wu-Tang Clan.

Looking at him, she said, “The Method Man look-alike Meth’s married, are you?” Then she asked Howlett, “Are you, Hi, how are you now….” Then, after a brief stare at the screen, she turned back at Howlett, this time referring to him as Keith Lee! “Mr. Keith Lee, I know what you’re thinking right now; this is about a 10.9 out of a 10.” The video of the incident shows the ‘Fast Food Secrets Club’ pointing his left hand towards the actual Keith Lee, who was sitting just a seat over.

via Getty

Subsequently, Taraji P. Henson apologized for the lapse and offered Keith Lee a flower. He reportedly accepted it despite not being entirely pleased as reported in a ‘Vibe’ article. However, in a subsequent video, he gave his version of the incident, saying, “I am not upset with Taraji P. Henson by any stretch of the imagination. And not only that, in my opinion, she smoked [the show].” So who is Keith Lee?

The Game-Changer

The 27-year-old Detroit, Michigan-born Keith Lee, before making a nationwide name for himself as a food critic, actually commenced a career as a mixed martial artist. He has amassed a record of 8 wins against 5 losses. Besides other promotions, most of his prominent fights happened under the Bellator banner.


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It was in 2021 that Keith Lee started posting restaurant review videos on TikTok. His words quickly gained popularity with fans and viewers. A married man with two kids, Lee now boasts over 2 million Instagram followers, in addition to the 16 million who follow him on TikTok.


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Now, thanks to Keith Lee, there appears to be a new phenomenon called the ‘Keith Lee Effect’. As a result, restaurants and food chains across the country eagerly await his visits to boost their ratings.

Please share your thoughts on the Taraji P. Henson mix-up and Keith Lee’s rise to fame in the comments below.