Viacom Exec Address Miley Cyrus VMA Performance
With viewership jumping more than 60% over last year's broadcast, and an average of 10.1 million viewers, Van Toffler, president of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group called the awards show "a huge success for us," adding, "It was a wonderfully chaotic mess of Unforgettable performances - everything you could hope for as a producer of a live music show."
The Hollywood Reporter had a chance to speak with Toffler and addressed the Miley Cyrus backlash.
"Well, really, both Robin and Miley have ginormous hits right now, so they were both natural for the show," the exec began. "We all saw that Miley actually covered "Blurred Lines" in her concerts and did a version of it, so we felt like why not have them play together as a transition from one to the other - as opposed to one performance, an award and then go to another [performance]. Just have them play off each other a little bit, and [then] Robin would go into his new song ["Give It 2 U"]. It seemed to work and create some buzz around each of them."
Asked if Cyrus' live performance differed from what she put on during the rehearsals, Toffler explained,
"Performers turn it up like athletes on game day. Did Miley do every move in rehearsal that she did the night of the show? No. We knew her performance was going to be provocative the way her video is. But on live TV, the performers turn it up a couple of notches. We didn't see Robin's costume or his suit before he got on[stage], but Miley definitely brought a different bit of energy to the live show. But clearly she's been making some provocative videos lately."
Regarding concerns about negative backlash following the racy performance, Toffler offered, "You have concerns always going into live television. I mean, this was our 30th one. We've had people climb onstage, we've had people interrupt winners and we've had people stage-dive when we've had pyro planned, so I think you've got to expect the unexpected. Not everything goes as planned. In fact, the stage actually broke a couple of hours before the performances so we weren't sure we could get the big bear on Miley's stage for the live show because of the step change. But we did. It was in a different position. We had to change a bunch of things leading up to it, but we knew it would be a memorable performance, just like Gaga's open and Justin Timberlake's medley."
Read the interview in full here.
Photo credit: Getty/MTV