Sunday night Facebook statuses popped up, giving me up-to-the-minute insights on how much my friends don’t like Kanye West. For those of you outside the MTV culture, West, who reportedly was drunk earlier in the evening, took the stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for “Best Female Video” and proclaimed that Beyonce Knowles’ video was better.
It was bizarre, inappropriate, and rude.
The shocked looks on Swift and Knowles’ faces said it all. The VMAs are known for outlandish performances, but even this was a surprise for which no one could prepare.
Sure, most of us secretly hope to see the loser get mad at award shows. That’s why the cameras immediately show them politely clapping after hearing someone else’s name get called to the stage.
But West was not up for Best Female Video. He had no right to get on the stage or make any statement.
He’s certainly entitled to his opinion, but he doesn’t have the right to seize the limelight from a 19-year-old girl who won an award. MTV might as well put their awards in the center of a pit, letting everyone scream and fight until the loudest and strongest wins. (Wait. MTV, please don’t really do that.)
An award show is to acknowledge artists’ work and present awards, not to debate and argue.
West obviously did it for attention without a thought to Swift or her fans. And he got just what he wanted. Sort of.
1. He got to make the TV circuit, admitting what he did was rude and how much he wanted to apologize to Swift. Oh, and maybe mention his new work while he’s there.
2. Knowles’ “Single Ladies,” which West called “one of the best videos of all time” was indeed the Best Video of the Year (as well as Best Choreography and Best Editing).
Yet unexpectedly for West,
1. Swift gained a number of fans. Those who don’t even like country music stood behind the girl left speechless on stage, her moment of glory stolen from her.
2. Knowles’ “Single Ladies” beat out West’s “Love Lockdown” for Video of the Year.
Taking even more attention and time to apologize and admit you were rude does not make it better. Thinking before you act and showing some respect is what normal people do, normal being those of us who don’t crave attention so much they stoop to steal it from someone else.
The 2009 VMAs will not be remembered for videos or music, but for a disrespectful man who didn’t even win an award.
Thankfully, not everyone at the VMAs was as rude as West. Knowles used her moment on stage to allow Taylor to finish her speech.
Take a lesson, Kanye. Being nice can get you noticed too. And maybe next time you will earn Video of the Year.