VMAs: Five Shocking Moments We’re Still Talking About



Just like every year, the MTV Video Music Awards brought some shocking moments that everyone talks about—sometimes for years. There’s a reason why the VMAs are aired at the end of the summer, and on a Sunday. It’s so people will come into work the next day and gossip about the biggest moments from Top 40’s most famous artists. Since the early beginnings of the VMAs, the loose, almost too casual award show has banked on its relaxed atmosphere to bring on some awkward moments from presenters, performers and guests alike.

This year wasn’t an exception, as feuds were brought to light, awkward jokes were tossed into the ring with abandon, and cultural appropriation ran amok on the red carpet.

Here’s our top five moments that went down at the VMAs.

1. Nicki Minaj calls out Miley Cyrus

If there’s any question that the VMAs open themselves up for candid moments, look no further than Nicki Minaj calling out host Miley Cyrus during her acceptance speech for Best Hip Hop Video. Minaj came for Cyrus, who made comments about her during an interview with The New York Times only days earlier. In the interview, Cyrus said some stuff about Minaj’s Twitter “fight” with Taylor Swift:

“I saw that. I didn’t really get into it. I know there was some beef. I don’t really know. There’s a way to talk to people…What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite. I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love.”

When Minaj hit the stage, she took aim at Cyrus, concluding her speech with, “And now…back to..this b—h who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what’s good?”

For a split second everyone got a little nervous (and in some cases excited) that there was going to be a fight. Cyrus, who looked visibly anxious said, “Hey, we are all in this industry and we all do interviews and we all know how they manipulate. Nicki, congratuf–kinglations.” Minaj was seen still on stage mouthing, “Don’t mess with me, b—h.”

Sources said that after the public spat they were trying to keep Minaj and Cyrus from crossing paths again because they were worried about another confrontation.

Here’s a clip of the moment:

2. Kanye West announces he’s running for president

During Kanye West’s Video Vanguard Award acceptance speech, which was presented to him by his old VMA rival Taylor Swift, he announced in a very “mic drop”-worthy moment that he was running for president in 2020. At the end of his 12-minute speech West said, “And, yes, as you probably could have guessed in this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”

Whether he was trolling or completely serious, we’ll never know, but either way people exploded with reactions on Twitter.

Watch the moment here:

3. Rebel Wilson pokes fun at “Black Lives Matter”

Award shows are sometimes used as a platform by artists to address current political movements, but comedienne Rebel Wilson might have done it in the worst way. Taking to the stage, Wilson wore a cop uniform with a shirt that said, “F–k The Stripper Police,” which was a reference to NWA’s song “F–K Tha Police.” At the time, the song was a response to police brutality, which has made a comeback thanks to the NWA biopic, and current events that are being highlighted in America.

Wilson stated, “a lot of people are [having] problems with the police.” Then Rebel jokingly said she was standing against police strippers in response.  Wilson then said, “I hired a police stripper for my grandma’s 80th and he wouldn’t even feel her up…I hate this injustice, hence the shirt. They come to your house. You think you’re getting arrested, and you just get a lap dance that is usually uninspired.”

Some people are taking the “joke” for face value, and others believe that Wilson is belittling the struggle that’s going on right now, as well as the movement Black Lives Matter. Civil Rights activist Deray McKesson tweeted after the moment:

TV host Montell Williams played devil’s advocate:

4. Justin Bieber cries after VMA performance

It’s been years since Justin Bieber has hit the VMA stage. Last night he made a triumphant return after five years. After performing his new single “What Do You Mean?” the applause proved to be too much for Bieber, and he broke down on stage crying. It was a full-on head-in-hands moment for the young pop star, who’s had his fair share of public blunders.

5. Miley Cyrus’s cultural appropriation

Always one to shock, Cyrus, who was the host for the night, took to the VMA red carpet wearing dreadlocks. While this isn’t the first time a Caucasian artist showed up to an award show wearing a style of hair that’s closely related to a whole ethnic group’s culture, Cyrus took the heat for it. In addition to Cyrus’s hairstyle, Miley was in a sketch with Snoop Dogg and used the word “Mammy.”

Rapper Chance the Rapper, is just one person who called Cyrus out for her appearance and lackluster hosting skills.

What did you think about last night’s VMA show?

[Photo by MTV]

Niki Cruz
Niki Cruz is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist based out of New York. With a passion for Film/TV she often contributes to Paste, amNew York and Interview Magazine. Niki spends her time off learning life lessons by binge-watching Dawson’s Creek.

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