Everyone knows that the music industry is made up of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, but last night at the 2013 Video Music Awards, MTV wasn't so cool with one part of the trifecta. The network censored Miley Cyrus's VMA performance and edited out the entire line where she sings "dancing with molly." The line, which is converted to "dancing with Miley" for radio play, references drugs and the powers that be at MTV were all like, whoa, OUR AUDIENCE CAN'T HEAR THAT. But Miley's near-bare ass writhing, or as the kids say, "twerking" in Robin Thicke's crotch? "Make sure you zoom in on that Larry, the folks at home are going to love this."
If you happened to catch last night's on-stage mashup of Cyrus's "We Can't Stop" and Thicke's "Blurred Lines", you saw a near-naked 20-year-old woman hump everything in sight from the air to a foam hand to a teddy bear to a 36-year-old R&B singer. Tongue out, ass shaking, Miley's "dancing" simulated sex at every turn and there was nothing subtle nor artistic about it.
Which, fine. It's not the first time we'll see a pop star air-fuck something at the VMAs, and it won't be the last. What's interesting, though, is what MTV decided it had to shield from its viewers, and what it didn't. Ostensibly, the VMAs are a younger person's game. In fact, most of us above 25 feel like we're too old to watch the awards show.
The target demographic is in the 12 to 34-year-old range, but who's really making a night out of the VMAs: the rising eighth-grader who loves pop music, or the 30-something doing some channel surfing. Point is, the show speaks to the younger generations, as it should, but last night, yikes. When Willow Smith, the 12-year-old daughter of Will and Jada, has a look of sheer horror on her face, you know something ain't right.
You would've thought that MTV might have panned away from Miley when she pretended to have doggy-style sex with Robin Thicke, or maybe even cut it out entirely, but it seems like they were more concerned with her Molly message than her misguided sexual references. And in some ways, we want to hat-tip the network for not succumbing to our culture's prudish standards around sex, but on the other, well: baby steps. And: know your audience.
If they had to do it over, MTV might've left the easily-missed Molly line slide and instead, edited out some of Miley's tongue-wagging strip-tease. But hey, there's always next time.
In case you missed it, watch the performance here: