Miley Cyrus VMA Performance: Was It Racist?

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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?

Miley Cyrus Grab Ass

Many critics have pointed to Miley's race "problem" - she has said she's not a "white ratchet girl," she's been forced to defend her race online - and how it was evident during the raunchy routine.

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?


I love gossip


Is this racist, no. Trashy and uninteresting fits it to a T. Look at the audience and see just how thrilled they are to be seeing this. Her failed attempt at porn was lame too. Been done by many before her and looked too much like the Beats Pill commercial. Musicians must really suck if they need to divert attention away from their music. Too bad really, since it sounded like Ms. Cyrus might be able to sing.


To the dip-shit's who wrote those New York Times & Vulture articles: Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!! OMG---how freakin' STUPID and RACIST ARE YOU?! Miley's producer is African-american. She collaborates with African-american's. She hangs-out,employs,dances with,and parties with---that's right,say it with feeling---African-american's!! And THAT is what You call Racist??! Are you fuckin' kidding-me??! You guys are as mentally deficient as the moronic-money-grubbing loon's who tried to say Mile's was racist just because she pulled her eye-lids back in a friend photo a few years ago---is that YOUR angle also? I'm bettin'---probably...Because either that,attention getting,or sheer idiocy,is the only reason for printing such ridiculous drivel...Miley is about as much a racist as---Ghandi...
I swear---what some of you whack-job's write these days---Makes me surprised you're allowed to hold 'sharp object's like pens or pencils...You probably shouldn't be allowed to use anything past crayon's or chalk(under close supervision of course,LOL!)
At least one good thing---you guys are GREAT for COMEDY! You sure as hell have made me laugh-til-I'm-achin'---after reading your comment's...#TEEHEEHAandGUFFAW
Later 'Kings of Comedy'(LOL!); Hollywood---out.


I think it is more racist to imply that black women are the only ones twerking. Seriously? That's like saying if a black woman line dances she is being racist. The race card is being thrown out like moon pies at a mardi gras parade...come on people. This is ridiculous!

@ absurd

Hilarious and well said!

@ absurd

Right on that.Miley's present manager is black. Those making these allegations are really twisted.


What she did on stage was nothing, and if critics call that twerking, they should look up the actual dance on youtube and give the girl a break.




I personally find this article to be racist and behind on the times. To say that she was appropriating 'ratchet' culture or twerking from the African American population is a stereotypical assumption. Ratchet culture and twerking is not a race discussion but simply a discussion on generational culture. Older people don't get it and quickly assume that the white kids are acting like the black kids. It is really sad. Jon Caramanica of The New York Times should really reconsider the idea that this is a clumsy white appropriation of culture. Twerking and Ratchet culture are not distinguished by racial lines. It's more a melting pot of lifestyles developing from a more openminded younger generation.


She's only 20 yrs old but,she looks like she's been around the block a few times if u know what i mean...

@ cece

This article is not about Miley's looks.Do your jealous Hating somewhere else.


She is trying to figure out where she fits in and sadly she is trying to copy others rather than be an original.


Racist lol... No it wasn't racist. And Miley can twerk as much as she wants. All races twerk... While black girls are usually better at it (because they have more meat to bounce up and down on their butts on average) - it's not representative of black culture and it's foolish to say that it is. She's desperate for attention. She's pathetic - so very pathetic. She claims she's "more me than ever!" - but in reality she's more fake than she's ever been and is trying very hard to put on this certain image that just makes her look like a worn out desperate ho in the end.

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Miley Cyrus Biography

Miley Cyrus Hair
Miley Cyrus has evolved tremendously over the years. Initially known for portraying Hannah Montana, the singer/actress made an effort to... More »
Franklin, Tennessee
Full Name
Destiny Hope Cyrus

Miley Cyrus Quotes

Thank you guys for all your support. Without you, none of this would be possible. I love every one of you and I could not be more appreciative. God bless you.

Miley Cyrus [at a concert, soon after photo scandal broke]

I have let myself down. I will learn from my mistakes and trust my support team. My family and my faith will guide me through my life's journey.

Miley Cyrus [on lewd photos]