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?


The performance sucked, was embarrassing and raunchy but racist no way.. wow people would turn anything into race issues


Let the backlash begin! Theyre attacking her. Shes been making some poor choices and now like High School her peers are turning on her. This is going to get mean. I feel sorry for her. But she got herself into it. Plus Im a Christian ( though and open minded liberal one) and if there is a satan hes probably laughing his ass off. Those devil horns just iced his cake!


She should find a stripper pole to hone her skills for the next phase of her life


It wasn't racist, but a poor poor reinvention of trying something out of her element, and TRYING to be provocative. She still has a lot to learn about self-preservation, but still be descent with trying to be different.


First twerking is not considered representative of African-American culture and if it is it should never be. It is representative of ghetto culture and that doesn't just include African-Americans. Second so she slapped a black woman's ass, she isn't the first and she won't be the last. That could have easily have been someone white or Spanish so what does it matter. Third, so what Miley likes to twerk so do a million other people. What this was is called a ratchet perfomance. It was ghetto and inappropriate, at least in my opinion, but it was not racist. I can understand slamming Miley for that, but she was not racist. Actually, I can't understand slamming her because no one should judge another person for the lifestyle they choose to live especially when it is well known that everyone has at least one skeleton in their own closet. Miley is probably just acting out, but everyone else in the world needs to just build a bridge, write a Taylor Swift song, make a t-shirt, make a decoupage box, put this issue in that box, build a damn Walmart over it, and move the hell on with their lives .


Why does everything have to be racist? it is just disgusting. Why can't people deal with what they are and be done with it. ? I thought Miley was a disgusting waste of air time... but racist???????? no way. Just disgusting and vulgar like a lot of the other so-called singers today. Most can't sing worth 2 cents so they make a spectacle of themselves to get noticed.


There are bigger issues to discuss beside Miley. Syria for one. Veyscary what can happen with them

@ Cathrine

excuse me.. but this is the hollywood gossip..right?? not CNN or a major news website.. right?? If some of the posters are worried about the comments on this topic BECAUSE IT'S NOT involving the potential war in Syria, I suggest your read the headlines here.. These posts are about MILEY.. NOT SYRIA.. GEESH!!


Uhm........ How in any way is this racist? Last time I checked, made up dances didn't belong to specific groups and races.. Does it make me racist for dancing salsa? NO. I enjoy the culture and the way it makes me feel dancing to it. Dances DO NOT belong to certain races. Only people that are racist, are the ones even considering it to be..


How funny, or maybe just racist (seems writer wants to throw that word around) that 'twerking, is considered a dnace representative of African-American culture.' I seem to recall girls from "Jersey Shore" doing the same thing, but calling it the Jersey Turnpike. The dance or act is actually more common with strippers and hoes, so to that end, Miley is still just ratchet!


Everything boils down to being racist with niggers it's been over 200 yrs they have been in the U.S. n they still find an excuse to not work, raise their kids, get high, n live off the government. How long does it take for them to drop the race issue. They have the president half of Hollywood is mudsharks and they rule professional sports yet they are being discriminated against. Wake up spooks

@ Sancho

You're an asshole. There are many successful black people out there, yes some may not be and depend on government assistance but that goes for many different race so the fact that you point out just blacks, tells me you're an ignorant piece of shit. Go fuck yourself, I bet you got time for that.

@ Andrea

If the blacks don't like this country LEAVE. Do us all a favor!

@ Andrea

Fuck off you alabama wind chime

@ Sancho

@ Sancho you really are an asshole, obnoxious piece of trash. You're supposeably trying to prove that her action was not racist yet you are being racist.

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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]