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?


Racist?? Come on now, this is beyond ignorant. Poor girl..all this about her performance and now she's being accused of being a racist! I bet the "critics" that are claiming she's racist are actually the ones who are racist!! Let's talk abt syria people..possible WW111???


How was it racist? Provocative yes; but racist?? C'mon now

Joyce schaefer

OMG....Is everything racist today. Please give it break. But, If you want to take credit for Miley's nasty performance, Its all yours....


Ya'll are full of it. Let's keep pulling the race card. I'm gonna start doing it too, it's because i'm WHITE! Isn't it? ... Ignorance is what's wrong with this world.


Ok, we know that the perforamance was raunchy and rather...desperate. But Racist? Stop splitting hairs people.


African-Americans are not the only ones that can twerk. Come on people. This is getting ridiculous. It always comes down to race man.


It always comes down to the race card. Really? It was just a young girl performing in her own raunchy way. There was no racism about it. Geez people.


The accusation that her behavior can be seen as racist because African American's identify their culture in the deplorable acts depicted by Miley is and of it self...racist. I assure you I wasn't at home watching this girl make a fool of herself and "twerking" thinking to myself, "HEY, how dare she use the ritualistic dance of my people to perform some raunchy act for the masses." Uh hello...this accusation does nothing to help black people, but hinder them. The person making the accusation can be seen as more of a racist than Miley. Just goes to show what THEY think of black people and not the other way around.


The whole show was nothing but a promotion of ghetto culture


That's ridiculous, that's like saying that anytime someone dances to a different style that means they are racist. Her performance was desperate and it looked like she www trying to bring back the 90's

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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]