Pop superstar Miley Cyrus says she was a victim of sexism at last week’s MTV Video Music Award after the show’s directors were reportedly reluctant to meeting her demands regarding the lighting on stage.
“I wanted the lights to be turned off and then the lighting of the room to just be lighting me. So no key light, no beauty light,” Cyrus said in an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Cyrus said that she was “just asking some questions, not even on some diva shit” when the experience took place.
“The beauty light is always used on women and I said turn the fucking lights off. You would never tell Travis Scott or Adam Levine that he couldn’t turn the beauty light off.”
Miley Cyrus tells Joe Rogan the directors for her #VMAs performance made disrespectful comments after she asked to be treated like a guy:
“They said, ‘you want to be treated and lit like a guy, we wouldn’t be dealing with this if a guy was doing it.’” pic.twitter.com/XiF5zgnnnv
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) September 3, 2020
Cyrus appeared to be referring to the moment when she rode a large disco ball similar to her iconic “Wrecking Ball” music video.
“They said, ‘Okay, we’ll just do the same thing that we would do with the guys,’ because that’s what I want,” she said. “And then something that I was doing … for the VMAs, my bracelets kept getting caught in all this shit and they said, ‘You want to be treated like a guy? We wouldn’t be dealing with this if a guy was doing it.'”
“And I said, ‘Well a guy wouldn’t be doing this because a guy doesn’t sell your show with sex the way that I’m going to,'” she continued. “And I’m aware of that. It’s a ridiculous conversation and also embarrassing.”
Rogan then asked “Midnight Sky” singer how she pushes her artistic vision into her performances.
“The balance that I’ve found is firm and kind. I don’t lose my kindness, but also don’t become a mat, but I am firm about what I want,” she explained. “In a way, you might expect someone [to say] ‘She was a diva, she was a bitch,’ but okay like have The Weeknd come in here and say the same thing, or Kanye is like a creative God and it’s like, come on, why am I not getting that I’m a creative mastermind but I’m becoming a bitch? No one would ever say that about Kanye West choosing what lighting he wants on a performance.”
A staunch progressive, Cyrus regularly uses her platform to discuss topics such as sexism and her support for the #MeToo movement. In June last year, she reacted forcefully after a 26-year-old Spanish man was filmed grabbing her by the hair before taking her around the neck with his arm and then kissing her on the cheek.
She can be wearing what she wants. She can be a virgin. She can be sleeping with 5 different people.
She can be with her husband. She can be with her girlfriend. She can be naked.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) June 4, 2019
In 2015, Cyrus opened up in an interview with Marie Claire about the widespread sexism she has experienced working in the music industry. “There is so much sexism, ageism, you name it,” she complained at the time. “Kendrick Lamar sings about LSD and he’s cool. I do it and I’m a druggie whore.”