Robert E. Lee’s Descendant Condemns Him As Symbol of White Supremacy at VMAs

Pastor Robert Lee IV spoke out against racism and white supremacy at the VMAs last night in a powerful speech introducing Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, recently killed protesting racism in Virginia.

Lee is a descendant of the Civil War general Robert E. Lee, whose statue created the focal point of tension at white supremacist rallies this month in Charlottesville, VA. He spoke out clearly against his ancestor addressing the crowd of celebrities before announcing the winners of the Fight Against the System Award, a new honor designed to recognize artists spreading important and impactful messages through their work.

“We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate,” said Lee. “As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin. Today I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call, to confront racism and white supremacy head on.”

After Lee’s impassioned condemnation of his ancestor and the racists who marched in Charlottesville, Bro addressed the crowd, before awarding each of the six nominees for Fight Against the System their own award.

“I want people to know Heather never marched alone,” said Bro, “she was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country.”

During her speech, Bro announced a new scholarship fund, the Heather Heyer Foundation, honoring the continuing battle against hatred around the globe.

Take a look below:

Tommy Dorfman Is Our Best-Dressed Pick from the MTV Movie & TV Awards

Photo: @lifeandsomethingelse on Instagram

The MTV Movie and TV Awards were full of memorable moments: Particia Arquette calling out Ivanka, Emma Watson winning the first gender-neutral acting award in history. One of our fave moments of the night was seeing “13 Reasons Why” star Tommy Dorfman hit the red carpet in a white plaid skirt suit and glittering silver platform heels. Dare we ask why we didn’t see anyone giving us this level of queer power at the Met Gala last week?

Take a look:

Miss last nights @mtv #MTVAwards? No worries! Check out our story to follow @tommy.dorfman’s night at the show

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Dorfman and the rest of the 13 Reasons Why cast have rocketed into the pop culture spotlight after their Selena Gomez-produced Netflix show became a certifiable smash hit – the most talked-about series on Twitter so far in 2017, according to Variety. 

The show isn’t without criticism, though – Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute, told Today that “This show should be pulled off the air immediately. Teenage suicide is contagious. We know for over three decades that when kids watch television where they depict a suicide, they’re more likely to attempt and they’re more likely to actually (kill themselves).”

The series doesn’t look to be going anywhere, however. Today, executive producer Selena Gomez share this video announcing a second season on Instagram:

Their story isn’t over. Season 2 of #13ReasonsWhy is coming.

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MTV Movie & TV Awards Will Have Gender-Blind Acting Categories

The MTV Movie Awards have undergone some major changes this year – for starters, they’re now the MTV Movie & TV Awards, which adds a whole slew of new categories to the mix. Perhaps even more interesting, though, is this tweak: all genders will compete under the same categories for acting awards.

Yep, you read that right: it means, for example, that Daniel Kaluuya is up for Best Actor in a Movie against Emma Watson and Taraji P. Henson. And that Best Actor in a Show nominees include Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and Millie Bobby Brown.

Another interesting thing to note is that in certain categories, TV and movies will compete against each other – so, for instance, in the Best Hero category, movie stars like Taraji in Hidden Figures and Felicity Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are up against protagonists from their bingeworthy TV counterparts, like Mike Colter in “Luke Cage” and Millie (again) in “Stranger Things.”

Leading the pack is, to no one’s surprise, the genius film from Jordan Peele, Get Out, with six noms. You can vote for your faves now on MTV.com.

The MTV Movie & TV Awards will air Sunday, May 7 at 8 PM EST on MTV. Check out the full list of nominees below:

Movie of the Year

Beauty and the Beast

Get Out

Logan

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The Edge of Seventeen

Show of the Year

Atlanta

Game of Thrones

Insecure

Pretty Little Liars

Stranger Things

This Is Us

Best Kiss

Ashton Sanders & Jharrel Jerome — Moonlight

Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling — La La Land

Emma Watson & Dan Stevens — Beauty and the Beast

Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard — Empire

Zac Efron & Anna Kendrick — Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

Best Villain

Allison Williams — Get Out

Demogorgon — Stranger Things

Jared Leto — Suicide Squad

Jeffrey Dean Morgan — The Walking Dead

Wes Bentley — American Horror Story: Roanoke

Best Host

Ellen DeGeneres — The Ellen DeGeneres Show

John Oliver — Last Week Tonight

RuPaul — RuPaul’s Drag Race

Samantha Bee — Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

Trevor Noah — The Daily Show

Best Documentary

13th

I Am Not Your Negro

OJ: Made in America

This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous

TIME: The Kalief Browder Story

Best Reality Competition

America’s Got Talent

MasterChef Junior

RuPaul’s Drag Race

The Bachelor

The Voice

Best Actor in a Movie

Daniel Kaluuya — Get Out

Emma Watson — Beauty and the Beast

Hailee Steinfeld — The Edge of Seventeen

Hugh Jackman — Logan

James McAvoy — Split

Taraji P. Henson — Hidden Figures

Best Actor in a Show

Donald Glover — Atlanta

Emilia Clarke — Game of Thrones

Gina Rodriguez — Jane The Virgin

Jeffrey Dean Morgan — The Walking Dead

Mandy Moore — This Is Us

Millie Bobby Brown — Stranger Things

Best Comedic Performance

Adam DeVine — Workaholics

Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson — Broad City

Lil Rel Howery — Get Out

Seth MacFarlane — Family Guy

Will Arnett — The LEGO Batman Movie

Best Hero

Felicity Jones — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Grant Gustin — The Flash

Mike Colter — Luke Cage

Millie Bobby Brown — Stranger Things

Stephen Amell — Arrow

Taraji P. Henson — Hidden Figures

Tearjerker

Game of Thrones — Hodor’s death

Grey’s Anatomy — Meredith tells her children about Derek’s death

Me Before You — Will tells Louisa he can’t stay with her

Moonlight — Paula tells Chiron that she loves him

This Is Us — Jack and Randall at karate

Next Generation

Chrissy Metz

Daniel Kaluuya

Issa Rae

Riz Ahmed

Yara Shahidi

Best Duo

Adam Levine & Blake Shelton — The Voice

Daniel Kauuya & Lil Rel Howery — Get Out

Brian Tyree Henry & Lakeith Stanfield — Atlanta

Hugh Jackman & Dafne Keen — Logan

Josh Gad & Luke Evans — Beauty and the Beast

Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg — Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party

Best American Story

Blackish

Fresh Off The Boat

Jane The Virgin

Moonlight

Transparent

Best Fight Against the System

Get Out

Hidden Figures

Loving

Luke Cage

Mr. Robot

This 1990 Madonna Interview About Censorship is Still Incredibly Relevant Today

Around this time 25 years ago, Madonna’s racy “Justify My Love” music video was banned from MTV for being too sexually explicit. The network’s conservative decision was a response to the clip’s subject matter—a slyly pornographic narrative paired with Madonna’s erotic whispery vocals, delivering that irresistible chorus, “Wanting, needing, waiting, for you to justify my love.”

In the heat of this controversy, Madonna appeared on ABC News Nightline to discuss why she felt the decision was wrong, bringing to light a number of important issues that are still problematic in contemporary culture. First, the interviewer addresses the nudity that pervades Madonna’s music video, to which the singer rebuttals by explaining the value of honest artistic expression. “I’m just dealing with the truth here,” she says, reiterating the reality that sexuality is an important part of human nature.

MTVqualms with a woman’s nipple in 1990 echoes Instagram’s censorship policy today, which greatly hinders the possibilities of creative freedom by actively oppressing the female form. Before the Internet became as widely used as it is today, television was the greatest enemy in terms of censorship—a medium that favored violence over the human form. Some 25 years later, this is still the cultural norm, and one that Madonna’s work has always thankfully challenged.

When asked if MTV should have a designated time for “adult content,” the singer delivered a brilliantly spot-on rant that still feels socially relevant today. “I think MTV should have their violence hour and I think they should have their degradation to women hour,” she said, sarcastically. “If we’re going to have censorship, let’s not be hypocrites about it. Let’s not have double standards. We already have these videos that display degradation to women and violence that are played 24 hours a day, but yet they don’t want a video playing that deals with sex between two consenting adults.”

Mic drop.

 

Bid Online Now on 100s of Artworks by Cindy Sherman, Mario Testino and More for MTV Re:Define

Untitled works by Cindy Sherman, 1980/2012. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

It seems like every other week there’s a new excuse to throw on your “These Boots Were Made For Walking” playlist and head to Texas for some fantastic cultural event. And this week that event would be the fourth annual MTV Re:Define, a world premiere art exhibition, auction and fundraiser gala to benefit the Dallas Contemporary and MTV Staying Alive Foundation, an international content-producing and grant-giving organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV among young people. Last year’s event raised over $2 million dollars.

Taking place on April 10th during Dallas Art Fair week, this year’s event (presented by the Goss-Michael Foundation and curated by Peter Doroshenko and The Future Tense) will be honoring Michael Craig-Martin (the godfather of British Conceptual Art), and will feature over 100 works from artists Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst, Mario Testino, Tom Sachs, and many more. Even if you can’t squeeze in a last minute trip to Dallas, you can bid on the radically cool auction live now on Paddle 8.

Below are some works we have our eyes on.

ArthurPena
Attempt 124, Arthur Pena, 2014. Courtesy of Arthur Pena

DonaldBaechler
Receipe Book Cone, Donald Baechler, 2012. Courtesy of Cheim & Reid and the artist.

GerardRancinan
Tribute to Edward Hopper/Another night at the Phillies Bar, Gerard Rancinan, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

Michael-Craig-Martin
Umbrella (blue), Michael Craig-Martin, 2011. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.

NateLowman
Dollar Flower, Nate Lowman, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone (New York) and Massimo de Carlo (London and Milan).

RichardPhillips
K
enza, Richard Phillips, 2015. Courtesy of Richard Philips Studio and Gagosian Gallery.

10 Fashion Moments from the 2014 VMAs That Deserve Recognition

Image via

Without the formality of a show like the Oscars, the VMA Awards allow our favorite stars a night of creativity and fun when it comes to red carpet fashions. We get everything from gorgeous and sexy, to misguided and batshit. Since the program is an awards show, here are my own fashion awards for the night–

Best Shameless Self-Promotion: Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj was in full Anaconda mode following the music video release that shattered records with almost 20 million views in 24 hours. Clad in a Saint Laurent sequined snakeskin ensemble, Minaj kept makeup and accessories light —  a sweet reminder that she has a gorgeous face, even without bubblegum lipstick. Get it girl.

 

Best I Woke Up Like This: Beyoncé
Beyoncé was late and looked fancier than most–because why not. The Nicolas Jebran Couture gown isn’t my favorite thing she’s ever worn, and her earrings are verging on cartoon-big, but her soft waves are gorgeous and her skin in glowing. HOWEVER, the custom Tom Ford bejeweled leotard she performed her 16 minute long BEYONCÉ medley in was truly flawless.

 

Boobs: Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian wore a beaded Balmain (no surprise) mini that showed off her butt and boobs, which, to be fair, is understandable given that she is often between her much taller younger sisters Kendall and Kylie in photos. She looked gorgeous, and honestly, it’s not like Kim requires a special occasion for this amount of cleavage.

 

Best Effort to Try Something New: Taylor Swift
A bold departure from her old-country-singing-blush-toned gowns, Taylor Swift wore an alphabet printed blue onesie by Mary Katrantzou. I love Katrantzou’s surrealist-inspired prints but this did not do it for me. Taylor’s got legs for miles (see: her obsession with ModelFit on Bowery) and seemed to be having fun in the piece, but I’d have preferred a mini-dress or a less random seeming pattern. Still–if Taylor the pop singer wants to experiment with new styles, bring it on.

 

Best Timeless Glamour: Rita Ora
Rita Ora’s apple red Donna Karan Atelier gown slit up to her hip on one side was old Hollywood glamour at its best. Simple, sexy, and classic. Very Marilyn!

 

MILF-in-Chief: Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani wore a matching hot pink and black bustier and pants that looked like they were literally made for her–because they were, by her own line, L.A.M.B.

 

Best Please-Let-Me-Look-This-Good-When-I’m-45: J.Lo
J.Lo’s Charbel Zoe gown had more cutouts than not, and she rocked it–leg-slit, sparkle, and all. Here’s hoping she wore sunblock.

 

Best “Can-Be-Tamed”: Miley Cyrus
Miley wore a two-piece leather getup by Alexander Vaulthier —  sleek and mature. Leather outfits have been and are still stylish, and Miley’s hair–a simple crop in lieu of last year’s nubby side buns –looked adult and sophisticated paired with her simple silver heels.

 

Best WTF: Amber Rose
Amber Rose looked like she was wearing a tangle of Swarovski jewelry I liked in my tween years, and it made J.Lo’s dress look conservative. It just looks so uncomfortable!

 

Best Throwback: Katy Perry (with Riff Raff)
Katy Perry paid homage to queen of the early aughts in head-to-toe denim, throwing it back to Brit and J.T. circa 2001. She tweeted in advance: “WE’RE GOIN FOR DA BEST WORST DRESSED TODAY  #THISISHOWWEDOVMAS.” Nailed it.

Lana Del Rey SS ’14 AKA MTV Spring Break, Forever!

Today is very special. For one, the sun over on the East Coast has at last decided to cooperate with it being spring and all. More noteworthy, the elusive chanteuse known as, sorry Mariah (this is referring to the whistle note queen’s fantastic forthcoming album title, ‘Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse’ for all y’all with a failed pop culture degree) Lana Del Rey has gifted the world with her already iconic video for the most transcendent song of SS ‘14 aka “West Coast.” The (obviously black and white) vid involves Lana in blue jeans, white shirt frolicking on a beach with that tattooed cutie that she plays with in a lot of her other iconic videos. It gives me my kind of spring break vibes — chain-smoking whilst spinning sloppily with the breeze in my locks/the waves crashing into my calves after too many xanax/strawberry daq combos. Also, hopefully beach sex. I think spring break takes place usually around Easter? I don’t care to remember — my mom wouldn’t allow me to do the messy spring break thing with my posse of Juicy-wearing mean girls who developed early-on kegger/cocaine issues, which, in retrospect is probably a very good thing. Plus, Ocean City seems really vile. Anyway, this immaculate “West Coast” video really got me thinking about spring break, specifically MTV’s Spring Break circa the TRL days. (Can you imagine Lana’s beachside performance in Cancun with her parliament on fire and she’s singing “oh baby, oh baby I’m in love”? Fuuuuck me.) I mean, Jerry Springer bringing his raunch-a-thon to Cancun is responsible for my tween-to-troubled teen/queen transformation. That shit deserved several Emmy’s. Also, the pop star performances were everything and, unlike the VMA’s, seemingly budget-free nary a fog machine, pythons as props, etc. What can I say? I love a stripped down pop star moment. In other words, (MTV) spring break, forever. Here’s my fucking highlights.

Foxy Brown — “Hot Spot” (1999)
Foxy shouting “Spring break, where you at!!!” is seriously getting me so bouncing around kinds of hyped while I type this mess at this coffee shop. Goosebumps, too. Also, take note of those game-changing green gloves, the way she holds that damn mic, those bomb ass dancers, etc. 1999 forever.

Spice Girls — “Wannabe” (1997)
Don’t. Get. Me. Fucking. Started. If this doesn’t make you smile, check that pulse, girl. (Sidenote: I’d just like to inform you that the Spice Girls sing live 94% of the time, so don’t you dare hate on this. Girl power.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdsPOoPZTes

Aaliyah — “One In A Million” (2000)
Everything about this. <3 (Remembs when pop stars could dance? Are those Oakley sunnies?)

La Bouche — “Be My Lover”
Those rafter-shaking soulful pipes. Those goosebump-inducing outfits. I don’t know what to do with myself.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufGUsaKKrPc

Jessica Simpson — “Irresistible” (2001)
LOL @ that moment when Jessica tried to come for Britney. Those “dance moves”… Slay Jess, slay!

Hi. Here’s N*Sync performing “Here We Go” during a “fashion show”??? N*Sync has got the flow? You’re welcome.

Destiny’s Child x Fashion show. Yeah, there’s that too.

No Doubt — “Spiderwebs” (1996)
I’m still crying over 1996, the greatest year that shall ever exist. Also, Gwen’s bangs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO_ySMC4n9E

And finally, I’d like to point out that MTV Spring Break peaked with Sisqo’s “The Thong Song.” I can’t even find it on YouTube. But there’s this clip.

Sing it with me. Or don’t.
giphy

Does MTV’s ‘Catfish’ Encourage Catfishing?

For anyone addicted to MTV’s Catfish—a reality TV series spun off a popular 2010 documentary of the same name—the haunting question is: who are these people? Who decides to lure someone else into a protracted online relationship through pure and wildly superficial deceit? And, perhaps more pressingly: who will decide to catfish someone only after seeing it done on TV? Seriously, does Catfish encourage catfishing?

It’s not too crazy a question, given that the success of MTV’s Teen Mom spawned countless forums where young women discussed getting deliberately pregnant just to get on the show and traded the relevant casting info. Catfish is poised as the channel’s next flagship program, with countless impressionable young fans—it continues to be a top-tweeted TV show and generate huge buzz on the Internet. Not totally surprising, since that’s where most of its action takes place.

The hosts, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, never condone the act of catfishing—Schulman is the victim in the original film and here takes on a Dr. Drew-ish fake-therapist persona—and yet even in the second season (still in progress) we’ve begun to track some disturbing signs: when Nev calls the culprits, they’re always already familiar with the show and its premise, and many seem eager to come clean about their duplicity, as long as it’s on TV. The lies have become more outrageous, and often more cunning.

The most recent episode, “Jen & Skylar” featured a bro who got cozy with lonely women online in order to “brush up his game,” only to cease all contact when a relationship reached its climax. Nev and Max were so taken aback at the guy’s inability to admit that what he’d done was cruel that they spent a good quarter of the episode telling him off and didn’t even try to affect the usual semi-reconciliation.

The show disparages him as something of a hopeless sociopath, but he felt like a disturbingly average type.      Other catfishers, when confronted about their actions, are tautologically evasive: “I was bored” and “Why not?” is how some have explained their motivations, which sounds for all the world like what I would say if someone asked why I was watching Catfish in the first place. When emotionally toying with people from across the country comes to seem like a game or even passive entertainment to an entire generation—and may net you a check from MTV—what hope do we have to foster transparency and trust online?

Ideally, the show serves to warn us about “falling for” people we’ve never actually met, though it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t open up a world of possibilities for a scam artist or career narcissist. I guess what I’m trying to say, at the end of the day, is that I’m not really “Miles Klee,” but a woman living in North Dakota who is ashamed to be 6’2″ and therefore never goes out of the house. I just thought more people would click on my posts if I pretended to be a male writer in New York with a phony-sounding name.

Aubrey Plaza Kicked Out of MTV Movie Awards

Something pretty unfunny happened at the MTV Movie Awards last night: all of it. In particular there was one incident that, whether planned or not, was so painfully awkward as to make even Will Ferrell seem to regret his involvement—to say nothing of a wholly disinterested Peter Dinklage in the background.

Here’s how Deadline Hollywood tells it:

Will Ferrell was accepting the Comedic Genius Award at tonight’s MTV Movie Awards. Suddenly he had company onstage—Parks & Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza. She ran up and tried to wrestle the award out of Ferrell’s hands. Apparently, it was to hype her own upcoming movie—the August comedy from CBS Films, The To-Do List—whose title was written across her chest.

Aubrey herself seemed pretty dissatisfied with the stunt, if you could call it that, after returning (temporarily) to her seat as if it had all been a big stupid double-dare. In sum, however, a humanizing moment for everyone: even veteran comics can botch their material with all the quiet desperation of an improv 101 class performing for their silent parents. 

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