Well, another MTV Video Music Awards ceremony has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments from last night’s show that we can’t replay and learn from. We saw a lot occur on that stage last night (and to think we thought it couldn’t get any worse than Kanye snatching the mic from Tay or Miley twerking on a married man) but there were five moments in particular that perfectly sum up white privilege and the double standard of the entertainment industry when it comes to race.
- Media was quick to say that Miley was “rocking” fake locs, when just a few months ago, Zendaya was mocked for proudly wearing them at the Grammy’s.
- Nicki Minaj was angry and “exploded” on Miley after accepting her award for best Hip Hop Video; even though Nicki’s frustration was completely justified because Miley spoke negatively about Nicki behind her back first.
- From the almost 10 minute speech Kanye gave when accepting the Video Vanguard Award, the AP reduced his entire speech to him being high, but Miley had multiple vignettes where she alluded to smoking weed and even proclaimed it proudly in her closing song.
- Nicki invited Taylor on stage to open the VMAs with her; she even let her sing “Bad Blood,” the song that got Swift nominated for Video of the Year. However, Taylor did not return the favor. When she did in fact win Video of the Year, even though it’s what she suggested when the Twitter beef between the two artists began.
- Miley called Snoop Dogg “Mammy,” a black stereotype that is still prevalent in black characters on TV today and dates back to slavery, but no one caught it or even understood it (except for Black Twitter).
After last nights award show I had just one question, how? How did MTV/Viacom/whoever allow Miley and others to get away with that much appropriation and disrespect all in two hours? How is it that black people cannot stand up for themselves without being labeled as aggressive or angry? How is it that I still allow myself to consumer this trash?
I was disappointed in MTV and the fact that they decided to ignore the problematic parts of the night all for the sake of ratings. Part of me thinks the folks over at MTV/Viacom will continue to cash their checks not really caring about who they hurt and another part of me believes they’ll hire a black person to host next years show to make up for the train wreck that Miley was this year. But that’s not enough. Nothing can replace the fact that MTV valued its ratings more than they value the people interacting with their content.
But hey, I can’t say I’m surprised.