Each and every year, viewers tune in to the MTV Video Music Awards because there are always a few moments that the whole world is talking about the next day. Last night’s show was no different in that it had stand-out moments, but one of them was despicable, uncomfortable, and unbelievable.
Taylor Swift, the 19-year-old country music dynamo (who has managed to cross over into pop as well, something pretty rare for a true country artist), won her first “Moon Man”, for Best Female Video of the year. As she was excitedly accepting her award, Kanye West turned what was one of the best moments of her life into quite possibly one of the worst moments of her life (professionally, anyway):
It was surreal and deplorable. Yet, amazingly, he’s done this before, thrown public tantrums about not winning an award; he even did it at the 2006 MTV Europe Video Music Awards when he didn’t win the Best Video Award. In fact, he’s built up so much of a sore loser (to put it lightly) reputation that he even parodied himself during an appearance on SNL in 2007:
As I watched that skit again this morning, it wasn’t as funny as the first twenty times I watched it, when this episode of SNL was on our family’s DVR for about six months. The last little scene in the skit, when Kanye took the blue ribbon from the 8-year-old state farm winner, wasn’t too different from last night, when he stole that moment from young Taylor Swift.
Kanye did apologize later on his blog, saying:
“I’m sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom [Andrea]. I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. She is very talented! I like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she’s in the bleachers! …………………… I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!…………….. Beyonce’s video was the best of this decade!!! I’m sorry to my fans if I let you guys down!!!!! I’m sorry to my friends at MTV. I will apologize to Taylor 2mrw. Welcome to the real world!!!! Everybody wanna booooo me but I’m a fan of real pop culture!!! No disrespect but we watchin’ the show at the cribe right now cause…. Well you know!!!! I’m still happy for Taylor!!!! Boooyaawww!!!! You are very talented!!!!! I gave my awards to Outkast when they deserved it over me… That’s what it is!!!! I’m not crazy yall, I’m just real. Sorry for that!!! I really feel bad for Taylor and I’m sincerely sorry!!! Much Respect!!!!!” (Source: Justjared.com)
My problems with this apology? Well, for one thing, he restates that he thinks Beyonce’s video is better. For another, “Welcome to the real world??” WTH? Is that how he thinks he can get away with this, by telling this young girl that it’s part of the real world?
We need to be worried about the people who think that they can do something horrible and then apologize to make it all better. When it comes down to it, Kanye doesn’t have in internal sensor. People who don’t think before they act are dangerous and destructive, and though I think forgiveness is sometimes possible, these kinds of indiscretions are definitely unforgettable. I have a feeling that it might be a while before Taylor Swift listens to any of Kanye’s music again, but I bet, because she seems to have more class in her pinky finger than Kanye does in his entire body, if she ever comes across him in the same room again she will handle it quite well.
Speaking of class, Beyonce not only won the Best Video Award, but saved the evening with her grace, compassion, and panache by talking about how, at 17, she was up for her first VMA with Destiny’s Child and how excited she was at the possibility of winning…and then called Taylor back up to the stage to have her moment. It was a moment of generosity and one of love and caring, and I saw all over Twitter and Facebook last night that people who might not have been Beyonce fans before last night are “life-long fans” now. It was a beautiful thing:
So, what do you think? Does an apology excuse your actions? Where do we draw the line? What do you think is next for Kanye, and where do you think he will be allowed to strike next?