Broader Social Messages of iHeartRadio Music Awards 2015
iHEART RADIO MUSIC AWARDS 2015
The iHeartRadio Music Awards got off to a shaky start on Sunday evening, with an awkward performance from “Best New Artist” nominee Iggy Azalea. No surprise that Taylor Swift took home (earned) 3 awards for “Artist of the Year,” “Song of the Year – Shake it Off, ” and “Best Lyrics – Blank Space.” Despite an evening of mostly quality performances and decent award results, there was at least one blunder.
TOO SOON, JAMIE FOXX
I try to stay away from the Kardashian/Jenner mention, but the display of outright injustice for the sake of comedy deserves to be discussed. Jamie Foxx is a jack of all trades — a comedian, actor, singer, writer, and Sunday evening’s host. In efforts to gain attention from the audience, Foxx perhaps went too far when he took cheap shots at the former Olympian turned reality TV star. In recent months, it has become public knowledge that Jenner will soon transition into a woman, generating a strange combination of shock, support, and gratuitous criticism.
COMEDY GOES TOO FAR
“We got some groundbreaking performances, here too, tonight,” Foxx said. “We got Bruce Jenner, who will be doing some musical performances. He’s doing a his-and-her duet all by himself” — a statement that reverberates with unconscionable implications. Humor often goes overboard and crosses the boundary between what is purely comedic and what is simply derogatory/unjust.
Just recently, Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic made comments about Zendaya’s dreadlocks, saying, “Like I feel like she smells like patchouli oil. Or weed” — a comment many felt discriminated against the African American community. Rancic’s remarks had resounding consequences for her reputation and the show — both Kathy Griffin and Kelly Osbourne chose to leave the show due to the negative statements.
Foxx’s statement at the awards ceremony generated significant backlash; social media was rife with opposition, calling the comedian’s statements “crass, hateful, and transphobic.” Entertainers undoubtedly have the loudest voices, affecting every generation and reaching all demographics, all the more reason to be cautious in the messages and insinuations they project.
JT STEALS THE SHOW
The night took a positive turn when the Future Sex Love Sounds and 9-Grammy Award winning artist Justin Timberlake took home the “Innovator of the Year” Award. “They called me different. They called me weird,” Timberlake said in accepting the award. “Thankfully my mother taught me that being different was a good thing. That being different meant you could actually make a difference so I wanna thank my mom…” For all of the prejudice and discrimination that permeates the entertainment industry, JT once again asserts his role as not only an artist, but as a person of unwavering substance, recognizing the dignity that exists in being “different.”