Forget the accusations of date rape support and the general consensus that Miley Cyrus acted out of desperation to prove her edginess at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night.
And ask yourself this question instead:
Was her performance racist?
Consider her slapping of voluptuous black women's behinds, her constant reliance on Twerking, a dance move considered by many to be representative of African-American culture.
Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote after the VMAs that "this was a banner year for clumsy white appropriation of black culture."
He also slammed "the shambolic, trickster-esque performance by Ms. Cyrus, to whom no one has apparently said 'no' for the last six months or so."
Elsewhere, Vulture's Jody Rosen referred to this as "a minstrel show routine" and says pointedly that Miley's "act tipped over into what we may as well just call racism," explaining:
"Cyrus is annexing working-class black 'ratchet' culture, the potent sexual symbolism of black female bodies, to the cause of her reinvention."
Rosen adds that Cyrus is questionably attempting a "transformation from squeaky-clean Disney-pop poster girl to grown-up hipster-provocateur."
Strong, interesting words, all of them. Do you agree with these critics, THGers? Share your comments with us below, and vote in our survey:
Was Miley Cyrus racist at the Video Music Awards?