You Can’t Have Cheering Without Snubbing

The VMAs


 The  MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) is an event where fans are either cheering or in despise of the award show due to their favorite artist being snubbed. Many things have happened this year at the VMAs but at the same time, a lot didn’t happen. The VMAs this year had no audience due to coronavirus. The host, Keke Palmer, recorded her segments in front of a green screen on top of the Empire State Building. Many performers, including Lady Gaga, wore masks backstage and onstage due to the CoronaVirus Pandemic. The VMAs got terrible ratings this year and critics called out a lack of energy. The show drew 6.4 million viewers across all platforms. Although that might sound good, the ratings dropped nearly 5% from last year. 


   Although the VMAs just weren’t the same this year, many good things did happen. Taylor Swift made history as the first female solo artist to win best direction for her music video “The Man”. In her acceptance speech, Swift called the honor “amazing.”, as well as thanked her fans and the industry for her award since it was an industry voted award. This is the first time she has directed her own music video during her career. In the video, Swift puts on a wig and facial hair, to portray a rich CEO who fits every toxic male stereotype. Later in the video, Swift sits in a directors chair and asks the man to be more likeable which is something that women often get asked, especially in the entertainment industry. This song calls out the unfair double standard that women face.  


Yes, Taylor Swift made history, but Lady Gaga truly swept the awards. Many celebrities won a moon man at this year’s VMAs but Lady Gaga came home with the most. By the end of the night Lady Gaga came home with five awards after being nominated for 9 categories. She received awards for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Cinematography, Best Collaboration for Rain on Me, and the Inaugural Tricon Award.  Gaga also sent out an important message to the viewers saying, “Wear a mask, it’s a sign of respect.” Although Lady Gaga took home the most awards; many other artists won too. Other winners included The Weekend for best video for Blinding Lights, Maluma’s Qué Pena for best Latin, Megan Thee Stallion’s Savage for best hip-hop, On by BTS for best pop, and Doja Cat for best new artist.


The VMAs also had calls for unity and racial justice which echoed throughout the evening. Rapper DaBaby performed on a police car with a “Stop Killing Us” sign, R&B star HER won Best Video for her song I Can’t Breathe. In the artist’s speeches many talked about the racial injustice that has been happening over the past several months. In a saddened state during his acceptance speech, the Weekend said “like I said, hard to celebrate, so I’m just going to say: justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor.” Dedications were also made to Black Panther star Chandwick Boseman, who had passed a couple days earlier due to Colon Cancer. 


Overall, the VMAs had a different feel this year due to the pandemic and the pressing social issues happening in the world today.  Many artists chose to use the VMAs as a platform to fight social injustice or provide support for efforts to control the pandemic.  Next year, it may be all about the music.