Thursday 22 February 2018

Why is one group taking action against Miley Cyrus and the VMAs?

Miley Cyrus twerks with Robin Thicke during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York
Miley Cyrus twerks with Robin Thicke during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York

Sasha Brady

The Parents Television Council in the US has been reaching out to past sponsors of the MTV Video Music Awards this month to encourage them not to buy advertising time, saying that MTV is intentionally bringing raunchy content to young people and that companies should beware.

The council is an education and advocacy organisation that works to hold Hollywood accountable for its impact on young people.

“If this year’s VMAs are in any way like last year’s, or the previous year’s, and if MTV rates the program as appropriate for 14-year-olds despite the presence of adult content, the PTC will be taking action,” Melissa Henson, director of grassroots education and advocacy for the PTC, wrote in a letter addressed to those sponsors.

“We will be identifying the companies that helped to pay for that content and urging our members to contact them," she added.

Read more: Raunchy music videos to get online age ratings

PTC superiors have slammed MTV’s past history of “courting controversy” as well as the network’s selection of singer Miley Cyrus — known for her unpredictable and edgy behaviour.

Henson told US site TheBlaze that the choice of host, the performers who are slated to appear on stage and the show’s promotions demonstrate that young audiences are a sought-after demographic for the Video Music Awards.

“Parents need to be aware of the VMAs strong youth-appeal, as well as the fact that MTV pulls in young viewers by using other Viacom-owned properties – like Nickelodeon – to promote the program,” she said. “Most children in the U.S. today have TVs in their bedrooms or access to mobile devices that would allow them to stream content.”

Read more: Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran lead MTV VMA nominations as Hozier gets nod for Best Rock Video

The council's president, Tim Winter, expects that the event will be "very sexually explicit" with the singer hosting the annual awards show.

Back in 2013, Cyrus made the news when she famously "twerked" on Robin Thicke, during their VMA performance of 'Blurred Lines'.

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