Desperately Seeking A Revival of Scandal at the VMAs

Last night, MTV put on their thirtieth annual Video Music Awards ceremony. The vibe? Decidedly staid. Considering its inaugural show at Radio City Music Hall in 1984 featured the iconic moment in which Madonna writhed around on the floor to “Like A Virgin,” MTV has been consistently trying to one-up this performance with sexuality. And for awhile they were, granted it was usually with Madonna and/or Britney Spears (see: the 2000 performance of “Oops… I Did It Again and the 2003 performance of “Hollywood”).

Causing a commotion at the '03 VMAs
Causing a commotion at the ’03 VMAs
But the latest show proves that maybe MTV is kaput in terms of career making scandals. Even Nicki Minaj’s so-called “wardrobe malfunction” revealed no more than a belly button. And alas, Miley Cyrus couldn’t be counted on either for doing something salacious, instead favoring a speech about donating to the homeless. It was around this point that one felt as though they had stepped into an alternate universe. Are we suddenly in a Republican-run United States? Is Ronald Reagan operating the media from the great beyond?
Poise reigned at the 2014 VMAs
Poise reigned at the 2014 VMAs
And naturally, Beyonce couldn’t be counted on either to provide something interesting apart from Blue Ivy and the rolling of eyes during her fifteen-minute medley performance (just like Justin Timberlake last year upon receiving the Video Vanguard award) during which the word “FEMINIST” was projected behind her. It was one of many instances that simply screamed pandering.
It seemed as though the VMAs became family friendly out of nowhere
It seemed as though the VMAs became family friendly out of nowhere
The lack of spectacle on such a milestone anniversary leaves one to wonder if “decency” is going to be the new norm for the VMAs or if, mercifully, this was just a one-off occurrence. The network couldn’t even be bothered to get a host this year, for fuck’s sake. And so, it would seem that if you want outrage, you’ve got to leave the job to a blonde pop star.