The Parents Television Council, who can be relied upon for pearl-clutching and moderate outrage at pretty much every moment, have done exactly what you expected them to do and spoken out against Miley Cyrus, twerking, MTV, Moon Men, the whole thing. In a statement at Entertainment Weekly the PTC accuses MTV of "marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars," clearly referencing Cyrus's performance at the Video Music Awards on Sunday. What, you haven't heard about it? You definitely have, but here it is again just in case:
And here's more from the PTC, as the wag their (presumably not giant and foam) fingers not just at Miley, but at Lady Gaga and the condom commercials that ran during breaks:
This much is absolutely clear: MTV marketed adults-only material to children while falsely manipulating the content rating to make parents think the content was safe for their children. MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate ‘twerking’ in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds? How is it appropriate for children to watch Lady Gaga strip down to a bikini in the opening act? How is it appropriate for 14-year-olds to see a condom commercial and a promo for an R-rated movie during the first commercial break?”
Interestingly enough, they then swerve into a campaign for the Television Consumer Freedom Act, which would allow you to order your cable channels "a la carte" instead of being stuck with the Outdoor Network when you just want to watch Lifetime. We've already talked about how this option would actually suck for most cable viewers, but we admit, we never thought of the "protecting your children from images of women in bikinis" angle. Only magic underwear on our televisions from now on!
I'd like to rail against the PTC and remind them that Miley Cyrus's nude bodysuit dance is nothing new, but that's exactly what they want-- the PTC are cultural trolls like Fred Phelps and Anil Dash, and it's up to us not to accept that something is a controversy just because they say it is. But it's more than just the reactionaries at the PTC who are up in arms about Miley Cyrus, with seemingly half the Internet apparently outraged by her nude outfit, her foam finger, her tongue, whatever (and with almost no attention to Robin Thicke's insane Beetlejuice suit!). But as distracting as that giant tongue was, and as jarring as it might be to see the former Hannah Montana acting like a total fool on live television… this is far from the weirdest or most scandalous thing to ever happen on the VMAs, an event that practically exists to promote made-up scandals.
Miley's new song "We Can't Stop" is fantastic. Miley is 20 years old, and very much entitled to do virtually any stupid thing that she wants to so long as it doesn't hurt somebody else-- and no, being weird on someone's television doesn't count as hurting them. And unlike Lady Gaga, who seems so serious it's painful, or even Madonna, who was always very dramatic in her sexuality, Miley actually seems to be having fun amid all of this. Most 20-year-old girls wouldn't grope a 37-year-old man onstage with a foam finger-- nor would many of them want to-- but Miley at least seems to be enjoying her transgressions. I'll take ridiculous, over-the-top and loving it Miley Cyrus any day over Lady Gaga's obsessively "out there" artiness. Even Britney Spears, who in so many ways is the original model Miley Cyrus, never seemed to be having this much fun (though it's hard to enjoy yourself while wearing a giant snake, I guess).
Miley had fun. Children who are 14 years old really ought to be able to handle women in bikinis and even condom commercials-- nearly a quarter of them actually need them. Nobody was scarred by this, and Miley Cyrus will probably, in the end, turn out fine. If she can learn to put her tongue back in her mouth once in a while, I think we're all gonna be OK.