The 2016 Billboard Awards kicked off with a medley performance by Britney Spears, but soon after the BBMAs' two hosts, Ciara and Ludacris, started their monologue, which was, as usual for these things, full of topical jokes. The only problem was a couple of these jokes consisted of some casual sexism. First, Ludacris asked the audience to take a minute and give applause to Ciara's legs, which could be seen in her double-slit gown. Then, the rapper joked that since this is his third time hosting and he's doing it with Ciara this time, it's the type of "threesome" he likes. Ciara corrected him that it's actually a three-peat.
Ludacris also noted that he's known Ciara for 10 years since she was "this tall," gesturing that she was much shorter at the time. While it's likely untrue that Luda knew Ciara since she was a child (10 years ago, she was 20, after all), it still gave off an odd vibe for him to note that he's known her since she was much younger while still objectifying her.
Ciara did seem surprised by the leg comment, but was likely in on the threesome joke since she's the show's co-host. Still, the fact that jokes that feature casual sexism like this are still said at award shows at all is strange. Especially, the legs one, which appeared to be totally Ludacris' doing.
Perhaps including quips like this is the status quo, but it shouldn't be. Sure, male award show co-hosts have been making sexual jokes about their female counterparts for years, but that doesn't mean that they still should — or even should have to begin with. In 2016 at an award show that features such a wide array of acts when it comes to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, and more, it seems out of place to have what come of as just plain old time-y jokes. The times are changing and the way award show hosts handle their duties should too.