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2009 MTV Video Music Awards controversy

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The '09 VMA's was aired on September 13, 2009 and as of now has this top story about the incidents that happen within the show

Kanye WestEdit


West taking the microphone from Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.Template:Ifdc

While Taylor Swift was making her acceptance speech for winning Best Female Video for "You Belong with Me", Kanye West got on stage, interrupted her and took her microphone, saying Beyoncé had "one of the best videos of all time" with "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Beyoncé looked shocked, and West was then booed by the audience.[1] Angered, he flipped off the crowd.[2][3] During the commercial break, singer Pink walked by the rapper and reportedly shook her head in disgust.[4] West was later removed from the remainder of the show.[2][3] After Beyoncé won Video of the Year, she asked Swift to come on stage to complete her speech.[5][6] Later, West apologized on his blog (which he later removed).[7]

On the day after the awards, "Taylor Swift", "VMAs", "Kanye's" and "Beyoncé" were top trending topics on Twitter.[2] Various celebrities, including Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Spencer Pratt, Heidi Montag, Katy Perry, Joel Madden, Adam Lambert, and Kellie Pickler, spoke out about the incident through Twitter and other outlets condemning West for the verbal outburst.[2][8] Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton said, "Taylor Swift deserved that award, damnit. It is what THE PEOPLE voted! My heart broke for her, she looked so sad at the end of that moment."[2] Rapper 50 Cent, who has a past history of feuding with West, said winning the award was Swift's special moment that night and that West took it away. "Even an apology can't replace what it feels like for the very first time receiving that award. Now in her head, My first award was Kanye West. And it's damaging," he said.[9] Donald Trump called for a boycott on West.[10]

In what was an off the record part of an interview, the incident received condemnation from even U.S. President Barack Obama, who invited West to perform at the Youth Inaugural Ball in January.[11][12][13] TMZ later obtained audio of the comment.[14] "You know, it was like, she's getting an award and what are you butting in? ...The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person, she's getting her award and what's he doing up there? He's a jackass," said Obama.[12][13] The "off the air" comment forced ABC, whose news anchor Terry Moran leaked the information, to issue an apology after the Internet quickly "became abuzz over the stunning remark".[11][12][13] Additionally, West was criticized by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for the outburst.[15] The day following his outburst, West posted a second apology on his blog;[16][7] and appeared on The Jay Leno Show later that night, where he delivered another apology to Swift which was met with cheers from the crowd.[17] "Dealing with the fact that I hurt someone or took anything away, you know, from a talented artist—or from anyone—because I only wanted to help people," he said, "...My entire life, I've only wanted to do and give something that I felt was right and I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong."[17]

Emil Wilbekin, managing editor of, said West may have gone too far with his antics this time. "I think that it was not Kanye's place to speak for Beyoncé or to ruin Taylor Swift's moment," said Wilbekin. "It's OK for Kanye to rattle off about himself, but I think he crossed the line when he decided to speak for other people."[2] Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times said that "from one vantage point, it was a case of chivalry gone horribly wrong" as West meant to "stand up for" Beyoncé.[18] She added that when Swift accepted Beyoncé's invitation to return to the stage, "The two women [engaged in] a quick sisterly embrace, adding another layer of meaning to an already complicated moment. Now this controversy was about women sticking up for each other, too."[18]

On September 15, 2009, two days after the outburst, Swift talked about the matter on The View. Asked what she was thinking the moment it happened, she stated:

Well, I think my overall thought process was something like, 'Wow, I can't believe I won, this is awesome, don't trip and fall, I'm gonna get to thank the fans, this is so cool. Oh, Kanye West is here. Cool haircut. What are you doing there?' And then, 'Ouch.' And then, 'I guess I'm not gonna get to thank the fans.'[19][20]
Swift described how she had to get over the shock quickly. "You know, I'm not gonna say that I wasn't rattled by it," she said. "But I had to perform live five minutes later, so I had to get myself back to the place where I could perform."[19] She said that West had not spoken to her following the incident.[20] Following Swift's appearance on The View, West contacted her to apologize personally; Swift said she accepted his apology.[20][21] The night of the awards show, Swift became the first country music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award.[21]

West's outburst resulted in an internet meme which saw images of West being superimposed onto other images alongside text in the style of his VMA outburst ("X is one of the greatest Y of all time", or variants thereon, in some cases accompanied by "I'm a let you finish" and/or "I'm really happy for you"). This culminated in the launch of the blog/imageboard site, which compiles such images.

Lil Mama Edit

In addition to the West controversy, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys were performing the anthemic "Empire State of Mind", but towards the end of their performance, Lil Mama jumped and danced on the stage uninvited. She soon later issued an apology.[22]

References Edit

  1. Kanye West Crashes VMA Stage During Taylor Swift's Award Speech‎
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Respers, Lisa (2009-09-14). "Anger over West's disruption at MTV awards". CNN. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Kanye West Storms the VMAs Stage During Taylor Swift's Speech". Rolling Stone. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  4. Kanye West Crashes VMA Stage During Taylor Swift's Award Speech. Kanye continues his history of onstage award-show rants, 2009.
  5. "Beyonce Knowles Gives Taylor Swift 'Her Moment'". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Todd Martens and Yvonne Villarreal (2009-09-15). "Kanye West expresses Swift regret on blog and 'The Jay Leno Show'". Los Angeles Times.,0,4346169.story. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  8. Celebs Tweet Support For Taylor, Perez 2009.
  9. Shaheem Reid and Rahman Dukes (2009-09-15). "50 Cent Slams Kanye West For VMA Outburst". MTV. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  10. "Adam Lambert, Donald Trump, Joe Jackson Slam Kanye West's VMA Stunt". MTV. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Obama calls Kayne 'jackass', The Politico. 2009.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Audio: President Obama Calls Kanye West a 'Jackass'". People. 2009-09-15.,,20302940_20304704,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Obama Calls Kanye West a 'Jackass'". Fox News. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  14. Obama calls Kanye a Jackass, TMZ. 2009.
  15. "Jimmy Carter weighs in on Kanye West's VMA stunt". CNN. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  16. "kanYe West : Blog :". Archived from the original on 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Kanye West Tells Jay Leno He's 'Ashamed' Of VMA Outburst, MTV. 2009.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Powers, Ann (2009-09-14). "Beyonce and Taylor Swift: Sisterhood is powerful, especially when male-directed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Vena, Jocelyn (2009-09-15). "Taylor Swift Tells 'The View' Kanye West Hasn't Contacted Her. The country star discusses her reaction to the VMA incident.". MTV. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Taylor Swift visits 'The View,' accepts Kanye apology". New York Post. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Kanye calls Taylor Swift after ‘View’ appearance". The Associated Press/MSNBC. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  22. Exclusive: Lil Mama Apologizes For Crashing Jay-Z's VMA Performance, MTV. 2009.

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