Let’s be real.
I can’t stand award shows.
They’re consistently too long, they’re extremely pretentious and they usually don’t give the truly gifted artists of the world the credit they deserve. Every year, I give in and watch the awards ceremonies—whether live or the next day—just for the sake of being aware of the resulting jokes and pop culture references. Still, I hesitantly watch as if I’m witnessing a car crash with a morbid, uncomfortable curiosity.
Last night’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) only deepened my hatred for award shows. From its onslaught of half-assed performances that only became more and more disappointing as the night went on, to the continuous stream of racist and politically incorrect moments throughout the program, I genuinely wish that I could have my two hours of TV time back.
Justin Bieber may have gotten props for channeling Chris Brown by crying after his performance, but to me, that poor child just sounded like he was out of breath and needed to boost his cardio routine throughout his entire set. Miley Cyrus had no business hosting an awards show, much less putting on a musical performance herself, because the bish can’t sing for jack and isn’t nearly as relevant as everyone makes her out to be. As much as Nicki Minaj shut down the house with her performance of “Trini Dem Girls” and had me dying of thirst with her gorgeous, Carnival-inspired costume, I don’t think T-Swift deserved to eat away at her shine by appearing alongside her on stage. And on top of all that, it is complete bullshit that my boo, Kendrick, never got a moonman for his brilliant 2015 album, To Pimp A Butterfly.
Anyway beauties, I wouldn’t be a responsible journalist and cultural critic if I didn’t relay to you all of the low points of last night’s show that show us MTV’s continued disregard for the humanity and perspectives of its Black viewers—or the Black artists it touts all over its programming, for that matter.
And so I give to you, six of the most racist moments of last night’s VMAs:
1. Miley Cyrus Opens The Show Wearing Faux Locks
Cultural appropriation, anyone? If that wasn’t enough, she slipped into blaccent during the show.
2. Rebel Wilson Clowned The Entire #BlackLivesMatter Movement
I’m willing to choose my battles on this, but Rebel, you’re not living this one down, boo boo.
Ms. Wilson thought it would be amusing to co-opt one of the battle cries of America’s Black people against our country’s oppressive criminal justice system. The Australian comedian made a joke about her problem with the police—but not the police who’ve shot dead innocent people like Rekia Boyd and Michael Brown. She’s got a problem with the stripper police who give “uninspired” lapdances. Way to make light of one of the biggest social injustices of all time.
3. Miley Cyrus Continued To Use Marginalized People As Props
I take it that since LGBTQ community has been making strides in its fight for equal rights and visibility in the media, Cyrus thought it would be safer to just have some drag queens twerk behind her on stage this year than some scantily clad Black women…
4. Miley Cyrus Belittled Nicki Minaj After Being Confronted For Whitesplaining
Did you peep the way her face just froze?
Props To Nicki for giving Miley Cyrus a piece of her mind on stage when accepting her moonman for “Best Hip-Hop Video.” But I’m still salty about the exchange. Instead of quietly and graciously accepting that she was put in her place, Miley had the nerve to come back with “congratufuckinglations” and then continue to whitesplain to the entire audience about how the VMAs voting process worked. I couldn’t think of a more flippant and inappropriate way to respond.
5. Kanye & T-Swift Erase Nicki Minaj’s Comments On Racism In Their Acceptance Speeches
Okay, so Kanye only partially gets in trouble for this because he was admittedly high when he got on stage last night and that 12-minute long rant he gave after accepting the “Video Vanguard” award didn’t make a lick of sense. Still, I’m really scratching my head at how he thanked Taylor Swift for being so graceful while completely avoiding Nicki Minaj’s commentary on how she was discriminated against in the awards process. I know that Kanye only thinks about Kanye, but the least he could have done was show love to one of his counterparts in the hip hop game.
I’m equally, if not even more disappointed in T-Swift. After all of that controversy and after Nicki invited her to perform together on stage, it really wasn’t kosher that Taylor didn’t take advantage of the moment to echo Nicki’s points about racial injustice in the music industry when Taylor was accepting her moonman for “Video of the Year.” Don’t sleep on Nicki just because she’s a Black woman; our battles should be your battles too, bruh.
6. Miley Cyrus Called Snoop Dogg A ‘Mammy’ During A Pre-Recorded VMA Sketch
Really? Really? Is there not one Black writer at MTV? Not one? Not even half of one? It’s when shit like this happens that I seriously question which year I’m in. Poor Dr. King has surely been turning in his grave.