Without Parents Television Council, MTV‘s aged Video Music Awards trophy show might lose its status as The Go To Program for former Disney star kids looking for an image update. And, without the VMAs, PTC would have one less occasion to promote its campaign to compel cable networks to offer programming a la carte. It’s a great working relationship.
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“MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate ‘twerking’ in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?” PTC wondered rhetorically the morning after last night’s VMAs, in which Cyrus, dressed as a slightly desperate-to-stay-relevant former Disney child-star in a nude-colored bikini, twerked on thirtysomething Robin Thicke, who was dressed as an NFL referee on a dinner date. “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,” the advocacy group charged this morning.
“The Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance simply substituted talent with sex. Viacom has a set of corporate broadcast standards that were obviously broken in this case for financial gain,” PTC advisory board member and former BET exec Paul Porter said in today’s complaint. “While the performance was shocking to the audience, MTV approved it during the show run prior to the broadcast. Heads should roll at MTV…We urge Congress to pass the Television Consumer Freedom Act which will give parents and consumers a real solution for future MTV VMA programs — the ability to choose and pay for cable networks that they want vs. having to pay for networks they don’t want. After MTV’s display last night, it’s time to give control back to consumers,” PTC added.
Cyrus’s performance wasn’t particularly good, most TV critics agree — but it accomplished its purpose. In much the same way as, in 2002, Christina Aguilera turned up in costume and make-up that did wonders toward shedding her Disney-era good-girl schtick and, at the 2003 VMAs, Madonna dressed as a bridegroom and gave on-stage kisses to Disney-child-star “brides” Aguilera and Britney Spears.