Will Smith's Shocked Family Photo Wasn't In Response To Miley Cyrus' VMAs Performance

A picture's worth a thousand words, or so they say. But those words may end up getting shuffled up a bit sometimes, as was the case for the Smith family photo that was circulating after last night's MTV Video Music Awards. The image showed Will Smith and his kids in seeming shock or discomfort as they reportedly watched Miley Cyrus work the stage in a skimpy outfit during her performance with Robin Thicke.

BuzzFeed posted the photo below, in an article titled "Will Smith's family reacting to Miley Cyrus is perfect."

Smith family

And let's face it. It is perfect. Or it would have been if they really were reacting to Miley Cyrus. We have Jaden looking uncertain, Willow with her jaw dropped and Will looking uncomfortable. The woman next to Will has her hand over her mouth in seeming horror. Or so we're made to think. A screenshot can be misleading if titled out of context, and that seems to be the case here, as MTV has clarified the situation by sharing an update that notes that the Smiths were actually watching Lady Gaga's opening performance when this screen was grabbed, and that they were having a great time. Don't believe them? Watch the tape…

Pause it right around the 25-second mark and you'll see something pretty close to the screenshot posted above. Jaden and Willow are rocking out, Will seems to be enjoying himself. And the woman has a nose-itch. Pause it at just the right moment and everyone looks stunned. Unpause it and they're back to enjoying the performance and chewing their gum, the latter of which may have contributed to the awkwardness of their facial expressions in the screenshot.

BuzzFeed has since posted an update citing MTV's clarification that they were watching Gaga's "Applause" when this shot was taken. The photo was making the rounds on Reddit last night, which may be where the image and the misinformation originated. Either way, MTV has cleared it up.

In the meantime, I'll be completely honest and admit that if someone had a camera on my face last night during Cyrus' performance, I'm pretty sure screenshots would reveal that I was making all of the faces the Smiths are in that photo.

Miley gif

Watch Miley work the stage with Robin Thicke here, and catch the Lady Gaga opening performance that had the Smiths so engaged here. Also not to be missed is the 'N Sync reunion performance, which you can check out here

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.