UPDATE: The U.S. telecast of the MTV Europe Music Awards was edited, and did not include the footage of Miley Cyrus smoking what appeared to be a joint.
All eyes were on Miley Cyrus during the 2013 MTV European Music Awards, held in Amsterdam this Sunday. With her VMAs performance being one of the top music stories of this year, spectators held their collective breath, wondering what kind of controversy Cyrus would bring to the MTV stage on the other side of the pond. And Miley did not disappoint.
Cyrus was the winner of the biggest category of the night, Best Music Video, for her jaw-dropping, Terry Richardson-directed "Wrecking Ball." The leggy singer hit the stage in a high-cut leotard worthy of an '80s Jane Fonda workout video that left little to the imagination. We were puzzled as to why the singer also brought her Chanel clutch with her to the podium, but we soon found out.
Miley's speech was brief, pointing out that the EMA statuette couldn't fit in her streamlined purse. But apparently there was room in the clutch for a very suspicious-looking cigarette.
"I couldn't fit this award in my bag, but I did find this," Miley quipped, as she pulled out a stump of a smoke-able and lit up onstage.
Was that…was that what it appeared to be? The EMAs were held in Amsterdam, where "soft drugs" like marijuana are accepted. But for a foreigner smoke up onstage in a public venue, and on live television?
MTV clearly didn't approve. When the EMAs aired in the U.S. Sunday evening, the speech was clearly censored, with Miley barely getting in a line before the camera pans towards the audience. A quick cut later and she's already saying good-bye.
Other than the network's quick snip-snip, could Miley face any further trouble for her stunt? We dug deeper to see if Miley might be under fire for lighting up:
While marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, a policy of tolerance was instated in the '70s for possession of less than five grams of cannabis. So as long as Miley's Chanel clutch isn't stuffed with marijuana, she's OK.
However, smoking in public has been banned since 2008. The tolerance policy only covers the popular "coffee shops" where marijuana is sold. The Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam is a public venue to ticketholders, so we're guessing smoking is not officially sanctioned there.
This isn't a surprise to hardcore Miley fans, as she has been singing her praises of marijuana (and salvia!) for years. On multiple occasions, Cyrus has been photographed smoking in various places, and she has even posted photos of herself smoking what appears to be marijuana on her own Instagram. In fact, Cyrus said she preferred marijuana to alcohol and even declared it the best drug on earth in her Rolling Stone cover feature from earlier this year.
Before the show even started, Miley was spreading her love of marijuana to fellow EMAs performer Katy Perry, who tweeted:
To which Cyrus replied:
Then Perry said:
But what's most interesting is that the pop star that Miley completely overshadowed at the MTV Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga, has already lit up in the Ziggo Dome. The Lady smoked up onstage during her "Born This Way Ball" tour back in September 2012, on the very stage where this year's EMAs took place.
On her "Born This Way" Amsterdam stop, Gaga took a few hits of what appeared to be a joint while rummaging through gifts that were thrown onstage. Gaga said, "For those of you who are wondering if I'm high right now, I am not. That is not nearly enough to get me high," Gaga giggled, as she ended the sentence.
Maybe Gaga and Miley are on to something? While most Americans may not like Cyrus making a spectacle of herself, most Americans also happen to be pretty chill when it comes to weed. In a Gallup Poll released last month, for the first time in history, the majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, 58 percent to 39 percent. So while Miley's twerk-fest had everyone clutching their pearls at the VMAs, Cyrus lighting up at the EMAs may not be so shocking after all.
But we'll leave you with a PSA from Miley Cyrus herself:
Stay in school & Be kind. Other than that HAVE FUN ����— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) November 10, 2013
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