Nine channels aired the MTV Video Music Awards last night, and parents were less than thrilled that Nickelodeon was among them.
The VMAs have never been a particularly family-friendly affair - see the Madonna/Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera kiss, the Kanye West/Taylor Swift drama, Miley Cyrus's twerks alongside Robin Thicke and "wardrobe malfunctions" - but the show was simulcast on Nickelodeon last night, much to the dismay of many parents. With performances from Lizzo and Nicki Minaj that involved a giant, thong-clad, butt-shaped balloon, and lots of sexually suggestive choregraphy, as well as more than a few barely-censored f-bombs and other explicit songs, the awards show definitely wasn't designed for a younger audience.
The show airing on MTV, MTV@, VH1, Paramount Network, The CW, CMT, BET and BET Her seemed appropriate, but the content that appeared during primetime on Nickelodeon last night infuriated some viewers. Parents and casual viewers alike took to Twitter to express their anger about the broadcast.
"THIS IS WHAT OUR KIDS ARE WATCHING?!" wrote one user, linking to a twerk-filled performance. "If I still had a preteen child, I'd be absolutely livid with MTV and Nickelodeon for putting the VMAs on Nick and NOT bleeping out profanity as well as allowing half naked twerking during prime time," wrote another.
If I still had a preteen child, I’d be absolutely livid with @MTV and @Nickelodeon for putting the @vmas on Nick and NOT bleeping out profanity as well as allowing half naked twerking during prime time. 😱😳— FourMoreForNoelle❤️ (@HGSMVM) August 29, 2022
Paramount is putting ESPN's Megacasts to shame right now. The VMAs are currently airing on MTV, The CW, MTV2, VH1, BET, Paramount Network, Logo, Pop, CMT, TV Land, Comedy Central, and (somehow) Nickelodeon.— Sports TV News & Updates (@TVSportsUpdates) August 29, 2022
i wanna know why the VMAs are airing on nickelodeon... a channel where kids watch...— ˗ˏˋ ꒰ alexis 💫💌 ꒱ ๑՞ st4 spoilers! (@B4TJ0KEZ) August 29, 2022
nickelodeon is airing this too???? that's totally not gonna create problems 😭 #VMAs— . (@konshideout) August 29, 2022
Paramount Media has not commented on the controversy surrounding the simulcast.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.