Miley Cyrus VMA Performance: Was It Racist?

by at .  Updated at . Comments

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?


She needs to just go home and stay home.. Don't see how it was racist but it was damn sure a crappy performance.. Probably one of the worst ones EvEr... Man I miss the days when the biggest issue at the vmas was wearing a boa around your neck while performing ... Aka- Britney Spears . At least Brit was never that raunchy, even when she kissed Madonna! And even then, she was classy about it .. Miley- go home! Nobody likes you anymore! You've ruined yourself and your image! Buh bye


since when do black americans have a patten on dancing moves? this topic has been beaten to the ground and needs to move on.


Does anyone think that just perhaps this debate is leading us away from the fact that the U.S. is going to attack Syria? I'm not even American and I'm worried as hell...

@ withgoddess

I dont think the US government would be using Miley Cyrus as a distraction from invading and attacking Syria lol

@ withgoddess

PS. I don't mean this debate on this site. I knew what I was getting before I got here. I mean all this nonsense in general...


Who cares about that girl!!!! She is trying to be black. She need to just be herself.


So her act was racist because she performed a dance move that people perceive as being African American? Isn't the statment that someone can't do something because a different race does it, racist itself? What would happen if we said that an African American couldn't engage in a behaviour because it's a typically white behaviour? Personally I think her whole act was bad. But no, it was not racist!!

@ Marsha

The ones who think it was racist are actually the only ones being racist... Not miley. I hate miley cyrus but i dont think shes racist just bc she danced a certain way that people percieve to be " african american dance moves"


I mean seriously??!! Come on now!! Why must everything be made into something about race???? Was it tacky? HELL YES!!
Was it horrendous? YES!! But seriously people of the African American race believe it or not but the "whites" don't make everything about the color of your skin, y'all do!!!

@ Susan

First, it is you that stereotyped AA race . You assumed ALL AA's made it a race issue. We didn't. Quite frankly, just like other races, we don't care!! LOL So it looks like YOU "make everything about the color of our skin." by assuming all AA's thought it was racial. For ex: Do you know if the person who wrote the article is of AA or EA (European American)? I don't either & I don't really care, with all due respect. And, yes I agree with you that it was very tacky!!!.

@ Jesse

Hey dumbass where did I say every AA person thought her performance was racist?? Oh that's right I didn't. What I said was that no matter what the situation there is always someone of the AA decent crying racism.


Ok........racist? The woman on stage that "let" her SMACK her Butt knew what she was going to do when she got on the stage. In other words she gave her the "o.k" for this to happen. Just like Robin Thicke knew what he was going to do when he got out there. I like Robin's music, but this made me reconsider him as an artist.


Not racist ... just really, really bad.


Of course it was racist. She's from the south isn't she?


well, now that i THINK ABOUT IT, they do have a point there.

Tags: ,

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]