If you thought that Miley Cyrus doesn’t know PR, you are wrong. (And no comment on the matter from PMK-BNC her longtime PR agency of choice.)
Apparently, the star planned ahead what many fans and media critics consider a trashy, tasteless performance. Cyrus’s manager Larry Rudolph told PEOPLE that the whole choreography came “from Miley’s brain” and that “She couldn’t have been happier about the performance.”
Believe it or not, this was a PR stunt, that brought Cyrus the notoriety she wanted:
Smilers! My VMA performance had 306.000 tweets per minute. That’s more than the blackout or Superbowl! #fact.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2013
It may be still puzzling for experts of all kinds why Miley Cyrus is happy about the outcome of her stunt, but considering the thousands of headlines to date, hundreds of memes that took all social media channels by storm, and millions of video replays, the reasons for her joy become apparent.
Entertainment is a business where bad PR is equally valuable for notoriety as good PR. If once Miley Cyrus was famous as Hannah Montana, a Disney phenomenon, today she is famous, all right, for all the wrong reasons. Although she didn’t win anything at the VMA, in terms of publicity after the awards, she is the absolute winner.
“The best thing that could have happened for Miley would probably have been zero attention about what she did – just to seriously let it drop. That would have been an effective message of disapproval for both her and her supposed ‘mature’ counterpart Robert Thicke. Instead, we gave her just what she wanted – attention – and lots of it,” writes Stasia Bliss over at the Las Vegas Guardian Express.
“It could not have gone better. The fans all got it. The rest eventually will,” Rudolph told People, a debatable statement, considering the wave of negative comments that followed the article in case, which could be indicative that the fans didn’t quite “all” get it. As a matter of PR, we all got it, all right, and we are gutted.
Cyrus’s stunt was offensive, disturbing, and racist. It was a success, but it cost Cyrus a lot in terms of personal reputation. She is now the poster child for everything that could go wrong with the young generation. And it is a shame, because the same person who triggered the following reactions is, in fact, one of the great American voices of our time.
“the shambolic, trickster-esque performance by Ms. Cyrus, to whom no one has apparently said “no” for the last six months or so, which included plenty of lewdness and a molesting of Robin Thicke,” stated an article in The New York Times.
“Last night, as Cyrus stalked the stage, mugging and twerking, and paused to spank and simulate analingus upon the ass of a thickly set African-American backup dancer, her act tipped over into what we may as well just call racism: a minstrel show routine whose ghoulishness was heightened by Cyrus’s madcap charisma, and by the dark beauty of “We Can’t Stop” — by a good distance, the most powerful pop hit of 2013,” wrote Jody Rosen over at the Vulture.
In final analysis, one can only “admire” Cyrus for strength of character, and the power to stick to her own convictions. The media crucified and condemned her performance, from The New York Times, down to the gossip tabloids. But the star goes on, preparing for #BANGERZOCTOBER 8th, whatever that will bring.