- Associated Press - Sunday, June 26, 2016

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) - On Sunday, Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross take their second consecutive turn as co-hosts of the BET awards.

In advance of that, they took time out for a brief conversation with The Associated Press:

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AP (to Anderson): I’ve lost count, but I’m guessing this is, what, the 4,376th hosting gig of your career? Are you in some kind of contest with Neil Patrick Harris?

Anthony Anderson: I’m in a contest with Neil, but he does not know that.

Tracee Ellis Ross: Shouldn’t you tell him?

Anderson: Well, I’m telling him now.

Ross: Neil, you are competing with Anthony. He’s not a good loser or winner.

Anderson: Comin’ after your jobs, brother. Tonys, Oscars, Emmys — whatever you’ve done, I’m coming after them.

AP: With the exception of the Oscars, a number of the awards shows in the last year have had a more diverse list of nominees than usual, including the Tony Awards. So, why are the BETs still important?

Ross: Not to take it too far and too deep, there is an ability and a need to balance the scale, and to sort of, not right the wrong, but create an opportunity to celebrate the excellence that exists in all areas, in all ways. And because it doesn’t happen in an equal, diverse manner yet, I think sometimes that’s important. But, in the meantime, as we are all learning about each other, I think there’s a journey to that, and a process that we all have to make space for.

AP: Tracee, last year’s BET telecast was loaded with outrageous moments, including your being strapped in a harness and Anthony hurling you over the audience so you were flying. What are you planning this year?

Ross: There is a very strong possibility that you will see Anthony’s rear end. There is also an extremely strong possibility that you will not see mine.

The 16th Annual BET Awards air live at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Mike Cidoni Lennox on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CidoniLennox

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