Miley Cyrus has drawn a considerable amount of media attention for her salacious performance at the MTV Video Music Awards over the weekend. However, this is not the first time that the VMAs have drawn controversy, nor will it likely be the last.
Using a very complicated series of graphs and linear programming charts, I have created a 21 year projection for the ongoing history of controversial moments at the VMAs. Please keep referring back to this list every year to see how accurate I was.
2014 – Huge shock waves go out on the twitterverse when One Direction announces their break-up, citing creative differences. Naill Horan exits the stage giving what many in the audience interpret to be the seig heil arm gesture, though he denies it. Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance of their new single, ‘Rohypnol Rumble’, is edited from the show for time.
2015 – The twitterverse explodes when Justin Bieber announces his plans to portray Heath Ledger in the upcoming bio-pic of the late actor. Katy Perry wears a dress made entirely out of olinguito fur. This broadcast is also the last known public sighting of Pharrell Williams, whom is never seen or heard from again. Ben Affleck as Batman hosts.
2016 – In a comeback performance that few saw coming, Sarah McLachlan very visibly masturbates on stage for four straight minutes while performing her 1995 hit ‘I Will Remember You’. As a result, Twitter suffers an irreparable sever overload. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sues McLachlan for the necessary repairs to the twitterverse. Nicki Minaj wears a very strange hat.
2017 – Brazilian-born and Seattle-raised internet pop sensation Yoalin Karr sweeps the awards with his hit single ‘Done 4 U’, despite the distinction of never having released the single on a major label. A bidding war erupts to secure the rights to release his first album. Host Justin Timberlake is very visibly gaining weight. A Pepsi ad depicting an implied scene of incest draws controversy.
2018 – The Nu Metal Revival medley sees the surviving members of Limp Bizkit join members of Twerk-Metal band Caawk in a performance that ends in the accidental death of Caawk’s bass player, Naill Horan. Yoalin Karr’s performance is criticized for allegedly depicting a re-enactment the 9/11 attacks, of which Karr claims he’d never heard of before. Only 3 awards are given out all night.
2019 – The lowest rated VMAs in history, mostly due to the show being preempted for the debut of the new MTV reality series “Fuck, Marry, Kill”, in which a contestant is forced to actually fuck, marry, or kill three celebrities. (Jennifer Lawrence, Chloe Grace Mortez, and Willow Smith, respectively). One notable performance is the duet between Kid Rock and a hologram of Joe C.
2020 – One Direction reunites, replacing Naill Horan with the newly sober and born again christian Miley Cyrus. Host Tyler the Creator causes a stir when he steals all of the Moonman awards and starts to throw them at people in the audience, injuring several. Jay-Z is given the lifetime achievement award, but forgot to set his alarm from PM to AM, and is not there in time to accept.
2021 – Yoalin Karr proposes live on television to his girlfriend, Frances Bean Cobain. Chris Brown descends from the rafters of Radio City Music Hall, pouring what many first believed to be pig’s blood on the first four rows of audience members. It is later revealed to be blood from several people still on the missing person’s registry. A lengthy investigation follows. Hologram Joe C hosts.
2022 – After being snubbed by the awards the year previous, Kanye West decides to put on his own awards show across the street from Radio City Music Hall, inviting only friends and family to attend. U2 does a performance live via satellite from their privately owned space station. Malasian-American singer Tenai does her entire performance suspended in the air by metal hooks digging into her back, symbolizing something.
2023 – Lady Gaga accepts her lifetime achievement award in a very classy and conservative white evening dress. Her acceptance speech is simply “Alright, monsters. It’s time.”, before walking off stage. A single gunshot is heard. Later, 272,802 more suicides are reported by devout Gaga fans across the world. Bruno Mars is shown picking his nose in a cut-away, which quickly becomes an internet meme.
2024 – A tribute to the late 2 Chainz is sullied by a drunk and belligerent Justin Bieber and Robin Thicke, who storm the stage wearing ‘Bieber/Thicke 2024’ election t-shirts. Two unknown women are seen doing meth and making out with each other in the audience pit. They will later sign to a four record deal with Interscope records. This marks the first year that no awards are given out whatsoever.
2025 – A man wearing a Kendrick Lamar mask runs naked across the stage during Jaden and Will Smith’s unsettling medley of love songs to each other. People are stunned, but less-so once it is revealed that he was only one of dozens of naked Kendrick Lamar backup dancers, late to the show, who will be seen later during Lamar’s performance in the show. Tenai announces her new album will be released exclusively on Mini Disc. Two Girls Doing Meth and Making Out host.
2026 – Mumford and Sons perform a 47 minute jam set before security is forced to intervene and remove them from the building. Yoalin Karr announces plans to start his own religion. Most of the live acts are visibly masturbating themselves or others during each performance. Meanwhile, the 5th year of The Kanye Awards draws record ratings with the surprise reunion of the Talking Heads.
2027 – A protest is staged outside of Radio City Music Hall to prevent the performance of pop sensation Tristan Turner, with many feeling that his hit ‘There Without You (I Can’t Get No Fuck)’ bears too close of a resemblance to the 3 Doors Down song ‘Here Without You’, the latter of which has since become the national anthem of Cambodia. Turner is 4 years old. Nicki Minaj wears a very strange hat, made out of the corpse of Katy Perry.
2028 – No awards due to rain.
2029 – No awards due to floods.
2030 – No awards due to locust.
2031 – No awards due to Daft Punk’s control over the west coast power grid.
2032 – The VMAs return, with survivors of The Great Darkness exhibiting their talents for those fortunate enough to still have a working television. Acts deemed ‘pleasing’ by the barbaric iron fists of Daft Punk are permitted to survive another year. The winner this year is Frances Bean Cobain for murdering her husband, Pope Yoalin Karr the First, live on the air. Hologram Joe C hosts.
2033 – A rag-tag band of disheveled pop stars set aside their differences and unite to crush the tyrannical regime that has constricted them into a life of violent pseudo-sexual torture. Together, a one-legged Rihanna, Marshall ‘Mohammed’ Mathers, Frances Bean Cobain, two of the four surviving members of Muse, and Drake’s brain hooked up to the body of a 15-foot cyborg, rise up to defeat Daft Punk and free their imprisoned contemporaries. It comes in second in the ratings to the season finale of ‘Rick Clarion: Retard Cop’ on AMC, starring Michael Cera.
2034 – The 50th anniversary of the awards features a lengthy montage of past VMA moments that helped shape popular culture over the years. From the infamous kiss between Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, to the public gaffes by Fiona Apple and Kanye West, not a single controversial or memorable moment in the five decade long history of the awards is over looked. The outfits, the gimmicks, the spectacles and the scandal. Performances that marked the arrival of new musical icons, and solidified the pedigree of those who came before. The montage artfully and without omission presents the long history of the MTV Video Music Awards for what it truly has been, and for what it has come to mean. For decades, it has been the annual event for the most visual generation of young people in history to see their idols at the peak of their pageantry. To see them expose as much as they can to as many as they can. Be it for reasons of misguided vanity, or in a pure desire to express themselves as true artists, it has become and endures as the widest forum for popular musicians to be seen and talked about by their public, and to hopefully never be forgotten. The montage is followed by a Pepsi commercial featuring two computer animated owls screaming racial slurs and farting on each other, which quickly becomes an internet meme.
– J.D. Renaud