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Celebrities Defend MTV’s Decision To Keep Michael Jackson’s Name On The Video Vanguard Award

The 2019 MTV VMAs was an iconic one. There were astounding performances, glamorous outfits, and emotional moments. By far the most anticipated part of the night was the awards. The nominees waited in anticipation as the presenters called out the winners for each category one by one. The highlighted award of the night, however, was the presentation of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.


After two decades of being in the music industry, Missy Elliott finally got her Vanguard Award. The reclusive hip-hop artist gave an emotional speech and the crowd was touched.


Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
Photo: MTV


But In 1991, MTV rechristened the Video Vanguard Award the “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award”. But this year, MTV removed the words “Michael Jackson” from the category without any explanation. This is presumably due to backlash stemming from the disturbing documentary Leaving Neverland, which alleges that Jackson s*xually abused two young boys.


In fact, the only mention of Michael Jackson’s name during the telecast came from Elliott herself, when she said during her acceptance speech. It was unclear if the namecheck was just a force of habit, or if she was making a grand statement — but in her speech, Elliott did notably thank Michael’s sister, Janet, calling her a “great friend.”


Twitter opinion skewed in favour of keeping Michael Jackson’s name on the Video Vanguard Award, with many fans online outraged by Monday’s omission and praising Elliott for referencing Michael. Outside on the red carpet, most of the celebrities who spoke to Yahoo Entertainment concurred.


Ice T said,

“We still don’t know one way or the other [what happened]. Michael Jackson is still Michael Jackson”.


Also, Todrick Hall added,

“We don’t know if anything that’s been allegedly said [about Jackson abusing children] is actually fact or fiction. But I don’t think we should take away from Michael Jackson’s legacy. And I am so excited to see Missy Elliott perform and receive her award!”


Watch the video below:


What do you think about this? Do you think MTV should keep or remove Michael Jackson’s name? Comment below and don’t forget to share this article.


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Tokoni Akosubo

Tokoni is a content writer and screenwriter who is passionate about stories and social issues. When she's not tapping away at her keyboard, she's a committed foodie with an eye for style and interior decor.

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