The annual broadcasting of MTV’s Video Music Awards was followed by the release of a statement by the Parents Television Council accusing the network of “perpetual blatant sexualization,” and calling out host Miley Cyrus’ discussion of marijuana as well as her wardrobe issues.
In a prepared statement, PTC President Tim Winter said the network should have used the opportunity to inspire the youth of today to work toward “positive and uplifting” goals. However, they said that instead the show glorified sex and illegal drug use. While the network rated the show as being appropriate for children ages 14 and older, the PTC did not agree, calling the rating “preposterous,” and arguing that the event should have been rated TV-MA.
“In the end, the network succeeded in what it wanted to do: stir up controversy without regard to its impact on an entertainment environment that is increasingly toxic for children,” Winter said.
The statement continued to discuss Miley Cyrus’ wardrobe malfunction, which occurred backstage with Cyrus partially hidden behind a curtain. Despite the camera cutting away, Cyrus could still be heard saying, “Oh, what’s happening? Oh sorry, my tit’s out?”
The Parents Television Council ended its statement, “MTV and Cyrus could both be forces for something positive, but tonight’s VMA partners relied on exposing millions of children to graphic, inappropriate and far-too-frequently offensive content.”
The council had been nervous about Cyrus’ appearance on the show since July, saying it would make the event unsafe for children to watch. “It’s probably going to be very edgy, very profane, very sexually explicit,” their spokesperson said at the time.
A recent poll of 2,287 British parents with at least one child under 10 unsurprisingly found 78% thought Cyrus to be the worst role model for children. The singer was followed by Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian. Cyrus was recently called “a performing tongue with a woman attached” by the New York Times.
While a representative for MTV did announce that the shot containing Cyrus’ nipple would not be included in repeat broadcasting of the show, the PTC was not appeased, saying the network had merely wanted to “stir up controversy without regard to its impact on an entertainment environment that is increasingly toxic for children,” and had succeeded in doing so.
“It’s also unfortunate that the VMAs were underwritten by the vast majority of Americans who were forced to pay for MTV on their cable bills, but who don’t give a damn about the VMAs,” Winter added, once again making his pitch for a la carte cable.