Miley Cyrus Sends Homeless Youth to VMAs Podium to Accept Award for Video of the Year

That’s a wrap on the awards portion of this year’s VMAs. The envelopes have been opened, the moonmen have been doled out, and "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus is the MTV VMA Video of the Year. That said, she didn't accept it — in a move that could be read as either socially conscious or attention-grabbing, Cyrus sent a homeless youth named Jesse to the podium to accept the award on behalf of the 1.6 million young people without a home. After causing such a commotion (for all the wrong reasons) at last year's VMAs, Miley chose to sidestep the attention and use it to shine a light on a worthy cause, the homeless shelter My Friend's Place. That's definitely a reason to celebrate. "I may be invisible to you on the streets, but I have a lot of the same dreams that brought you here tonight," a homeless youth named Jesse said as he accepted the award.

One reason to not celebrate? The win means that controversial photographer Terry Richardson now has a VMA — he was the director of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Blue." Richardson has been accused of some pretty disgusting behavior by models that he’s worked with, so much so that New York magazine ran an article with the headline “Is Terry Richardson an Artist or a Predator?” I figured MTV wouldn’t really want to be seen celebrating that.

"Wrecking Ball" had some tough competetion, too. Miley's fellow nominees included “Drunk in Love” by Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award recipient Beyoncé (featuring the possibly-on-the-outs Jay Z), the ubiquitous “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, the endlessly lip-dubbed “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and "Chandelier" by first-time nominee Sia, which features some memorable dancing by Dance Moms star Maddie Zeigler.

Image: Screengrab