Miley Cyrus did her best to shock the audience of the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, and according to most, she succeeded. Whether she was stripping to her underwear, grinding on a foam finger or twerking with giant teddy bears, Cyrus left jaws on the floor (though not in a good way.)
Just to make things more fun, Sunday was also Miley’s dad’s 52nd birthday. Happy birthday, Billy Ray!
Media reaction to Cyrus’ bump-and-grind veered between disgust and sadness.
On MSNBC, “Morning Joe” co-anchor Mika Brzezinski was not amused by the performance at all. After showing a clip of the performance coming out of a commercial, Joe Scarborough and the other panelists were joking about it, but not Brzezinski, who called it “really, really disturbing.”
She went on: “That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed. Probably has confidence issues, probably an eating disorder. And I don’t think anybody should have put her up on stage. That was disgusting.”
“Real Time” host Bill Maher took to Twitter to comment: “Haven’t been in a strip club in awhile, but good to see nothing has changed.”
On NBC’s “Today” show, guest co-anchor Brooke Shields, who played Miley’s mom on “Hannah Montana,” called the performance “desperate.”
“I don’t approve,” she said, speaking in her capacity as Hannah Montana’s mom. “Where did I go wrong?”
“I want to know who’s advising her and why it’s necessary,” Shields went on. “It’s a bit desperate.”
“Today” show co-anchor Willie Geist characterized it as “a big Disney over-correction,” citing Britney Spears as another example of a sweet kid actor who felt the need to oversexualize herself to show that she’s no longer a child.
The crew on “Fox & Friends” also trashed the performance, with guest co-host Anna Kooiman commenting on the performance: “This was just raunchy. This wasn’t sexy. There wasn’t any talent.”
The Parents Television Council also got in on the outrage, issuing a statement from director of public policy Dan Isett that said: “MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials -- while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable.”
Perhaps the one celebrity whose reaction to the performance is still in question is Will Smith, whose family’s supposed shocked reaction to Cyrus was tweeted widely. However, the audience shot was actually the Smith family watching Lady Gaga open the show.