About a month ago, MTV laid off most of the journalists who worked for its recently-relaunched MTV News website. After the mass layoff, SPIN reported a story about how the site never really had a chance, since MTV would remove articles that were even slightly critical of artists like Chance The Rapper or Kings Of Leon when those artists or their management teams complained. Point is: MTV is the system, and it always has been. So it seems pretty fucking goofy when the network announces that it’ll hand out a “Best Fight Against The System” award at the MTV Video Music Awards next month.
Today, MTV unveiled the nominees for this year’s VMAs, and they’re pretty much what you’d expect. Kendrick Lamar, the Weeknd, and Katy Perry all got nominated for a lot of awards. And the brand-new Best Fight Against The System category mostly seems like the new version of the also-dumb but well intentioned Best Video With A Social Message category, which was a part of the VMAs from 2011 to 2015. This time around, the nominated system-fighters are Logic (for “Black SpiderMan”), Big Sean (for “Light”), Alessia Cara (for “Scars To Your Beautiful”), Taboo and Shailene Woodley (for “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”), John Legend (for “Surefire”), and the Hamilton Mixtape people (for “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”). Whatever wins, the system will be broken forever.