Miley, what’s good?

Hayley Parrish


Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift perfrom at the 2015 VMAs

MTV’s Video Music Awards
have been known throughout the
years for their antics and provocative
performances, and this year’s
rowdy round-up was no exception.
Many were surprised when MTV
chose Miley Cyrus, a former Disney
star who has been stirring up the
media since her return to the stage
in 2013, to host their live award
show. Nonetheless, over 5 million
viewers tuned in to watch this
year’s show.
This year’s lineup of performers
included The Weekend, Nicki
Minaj, Taylor Swift and Justin
Bieber. But unlike past years, most
of the night’s excitement was drawn
from the fireworks between the celebrities
on scene.
Before the show kicked off, a
Twitter fight between Swift and
Minaj broke out about the unfairness
of how the awards were distributed
after Taylor’s “Bad Blood”
video received a nomination for
Video of the Year while Nicki’s
“Anaconda” did not. Nicki’s subtweet
at Taylor claimed “If your
video celebrates women with very
slim bodies, you will be nominated
for vid of the year.” Taylor’s public
rebuttal to Nicki stated “I’ve done
nothing but love & support you.
It’s unlike you to pit women against
each other. Maybe one of the men
took your slot…”
However, the beef must’ve been
squashed before the show began
because during Minaj’s acceptance
speech she shifted her anger from
Swift to Cyrus. After thanking her
pastor, Nicki called out host Miley
Cyrus for telling The New York
Times that Nicki was jealous of her
and her “Wrecking Ball” video’s
achievement and that Nicki has
been taking away from recent issues
in feminism and making it about
race. To quote Minaj’s acceptance
speech, “Miley, what’s good?” It
may have been one of the most uncomfortable
moments of the night,
but definitely not the first or last
awkward interaction.
Rapper Kanye West’s acceptance
speech for the Michael Jackson
Vanguard Award turned into a
rambling lecture about inequality
and an announcement that he will
be a presidential candidate in 2020.
The party that he will represent has
yet to be announced. Although, he
has been quoted by the paparazzi
saying, “Yeezus 2020”.
An accidental overarching
theme seemed to center around
racial inequality, which the Video
Music Awards, along with other
award shows, have been criticized
for in the past. Lately “cultural appropriation,”
taking elements of a
culture other than your own and
imitating it in usually novelty or
negative light, has been discussed
among the public. The 2015 VMAs
could be described as a cesspool for
this type of behavior, starting with
the fake dreadlocks that Miley wore
throughout the show.
Throughout the night there were
a few insensitive acts that contributed
to some of the awkward moments,
such as Rebel Wilson’s
monologue about how she hates
“Stripper Police” and poked fun
at the acts of police brutality that
have been headlining for the past
year. Miley also introduced rapper
Snoop Dogg as her “mammy,”
a term coined in the time of white
supremacy and blackface for black
housemaids in the south.
Among a few comedic skits of
the night one seemed to stick out
more than others. A satirical commercial
advertising for a company
called “White Squad” put on by
MTV’s “Look Different” Campaign.
The commercial advertised a group
of select white folks that would
help those whose “skin color was
holding them back” by performing
tasks such as: hailing a cab, finding
a better apartment and appearing
in court. Along with the commercial,
“Look Different” also operates
a convincing White Squad website
with an 800 number. During the
award show it was not directly stated
that the commercial was a satire
and went over the heads of some
of MTV’s younger viewers which
caused some trouble in social media
until it was cleared by MTV’s twitter
that it was in fact a joke.
Cyrus promised a never before
seen VMAs that would be raw and
psychedelic; this would not be complete
without a performance of her
own, complete with drag queens
and a dropping of a new free album,
“Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz”
(now available on SoundCloud). Despite
all the drama, critics seemed to
be displeased with this year’s Video
Music Awards. As Cyrus stated in
the beginning of the show, MTV
will probably return to having the
VMAs be a host-less award show.


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