If you had any hope that the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards were going to be different from nearly every other recent awards show and somehow avoid political commentary and unnecessary drama — your hopes were dashed quickly on Sunday night.
Since MTV’s favorite presidential candidate lost an election, it hired Hillary Clinton’s favorite gal pal and performer, Katy Perry, to serve as host for this year’s VMAs.
Perry's arrival on the show was supposed to look like she was returning from outer space, as she came flying onto the stage through a cloud of smoke — wearing an astronaut costume.
She then set about telling political jokes, such as, "You know what brings us all together and finally unites us? It's music, right? And tonight the best artists are going to give it their all because even in the apocalypse, we deserve a great soundtrack!"
The jokes and attacks on President Trump fell so flat that Jack Antonoff — Taylor Swift's producer and Lena Dunham's boyfriend — was seen sitting in the crowd eating a banana and looking bored with Perry's presentation.
Gossip journalist Perez Hilton accused Antonoff of "throwing shade" on Perry with his bored snacking, calling to mind the highly publicized feud between Perry and Swift. Antonoff co-wrote and produced Swift's new hit, "Look What You Made Me Do," a song supposedly about the ongoing "war" between the pop stars.
Perry noticeably was not the presenter for the unveiling of Swift's new music video at the show.
After Perry's opening monologue, she threw it to Paris Jackson, the only daughter of Michael Jackson, to kick off the awards presentation. Before Jackson presented the nominees for best pop video of the year, she, too, took a moment to get political.
She noted all of the "diversity" at the awards show and discussed how they should use their power to bring change. She followed up with an impression of Donald Trump's pronunciation of "huge."
"Let's leave here tonight knowing that … we must show these Nazi, white-supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that as a nation with liberty as our slogan we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred, and their discrimination," Jackson told the crowd. "We must resist."
Perry later returned to the stage to reiterate her support for Clinton's failed presidential campaign — and to encourage viewers to vote online for the best new artist category.
"Listen, guys, this is one election where the popular vote actually matters," Perry joked. "So vote online, but hurry up, before some random Russian pop star wins!"
The transgender issue had a strong presence at the award show as well — no surprise there.
Miley Cyrus tapped an 85-year-old drag performer named James "Gypsy" Haake to dance with her and others in the performance of her single "Younger Now."
The singer Pink decided to dress herself and her young daughter in male three-piece suits and ties, and then lecture at the end of her performance about acceptance.
"We don't change ... we help other people to change, so that they can see more kinds of beauty," she said on stage. As she walked off, the back of her outfit read "Fump Truck."
MTV president Chris McCarthy said the network invited six transgender military members to the event following President Trump's directive on Friday to ban the recruitment of openly transgender people into the military.
"Any patriot who is putting [his or her] own life at risk to fight for our freedom and [who] stands for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere," said McCarthy, according to Billboard.
Even the famous VMA "Moonman" award underwent a name change this year to "Moon Person." This now apparently reflects the evolving gender crisis in politics.
"Why should it be a man? It could be a man. It could be a woman. It could be transgender. It could be nonconformist," MTV's president told The New York Times.
And it wouldn't be an MTV show without a push for divisiveness while claiming a need for unity.
Rapper Cardi B. gave a shoutout to free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his controversial protests against the national anthem during the San Francisco 49ers games last season.
"Colin Kaepernick, as long as you kneeling with us, we're going to be standing for you, baby," she said. "That's right, I said it!"
Reverend Robert Lee IV, a descendant of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, appeared on stage later in the program to condemn white supremacy and implored everyone else to do the same.
"I am a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was at the center of violence in Charlottesville. We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As a pastor it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America's original sin," he told the crowd.
"Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God's call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on. We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women's March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville."
Susan Bro, Heyer's mother, was also introduced during the program to present the award for "Best Fight Against the System," an honor meant to highlight the work of activists at the VMAs.
Beyond the annoying and disruptive political statements, the show included tributes to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell that called awareness to suicide and mental illness. MTV's best moments, as always, were the musical acts.
Sadly, the performers could not resist pandering to their liberal celeb friends in bashing the president and lecturing America about its historical racism.
Katy Perry could have used the awards show to promote her new album. Instead, she proved to be the loser of the night by being unfunny, insufferable and unoriginal.
(photo credit, homepage and article images: MTV)
Last Modified: August 28, 2017, 11:16 am