Miley Cyrus can’t be tamed — and live television (OK, delayed by a few minutes) is no exception. The host of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards angered the Parents Television Council, a censorship advocacy group, with a wardrobe malfunction that let a nip slip during a moment backstage as well as her repeated references to illicit drug use.
“MTV had an opportunity to use its powerful VMA platform to stir a young audience to aspire to something positive and uplifting. Instead they chose to perpetuate blatant sexualization – much of it self-inflicted by the artists – and to celebrate the use of illegal drugs,” Tim Winter, president of PTC, said in a statement following Sunday night’s broadcast. “MTV rated the content of the program as appropriate for a child as young as 14, though most parents of teens that age would find such a content rating preposterous. In the end, the network succeeded in what it wanted to do: stir up controversy without regard to its impact on an entertainment environment that is increasingly toxic for children.”
Miley Cyrus mid outfit change. Photo: @mtv/Twitter
Winter was particularly upset with the fact that during a backstage outfit, Cyrus exposed a breast. A camera quickly panned away, but she could be heard in the background saying, “Oh, what’s happening? Oh sorry, my tit’s out?”
“Are we surprised that Miley Cyrus exposed herself to millions of viewers, and to more people who will inevitably see the news in the mainstream media? About as surprised as we’ll be if the sun rises in the east tomorrow morning,” Winter continued. He also noted his disappointment, saying that he hoped Cyrus and MTV, which draws in a young and impressionable audience, would be “forces for something positive,” that the Bangerz artist would have made up for her past transgressions, proven the PTC wrong, and demonstrated her “considerable talent as a performer, rather than rely on her own sexuality to entertain the audience.” Instead, “VMA partners relied on exposing millions of children to graphic, inappropriate and far-too-frequently offensive content.”
This isn’t the first time the watchdog group has raised concerns with the Viacom-owned network’s awards show, nor Cyrus. Following the Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz artist’s 2009 twerk-tastic performance with Robin Thicke, PTC similarly expressed their discontent with the TV-14 rating and “the sexually charged and otherwise inappropriate content.” MTV, meanwhile, has been causing parents to complain since 1981.