Isn’t the entertainment industry in the business of helping people escape the reality of the real world? The VMAs is a music award show, not a political platform. See what Common had to say on the Michael Brown shooting…
Rapper Common led tributes to slain Missouri teen Michael Brown at the MTV Video Music Awards last night.
The star-studded audience in Los Angeles fell silent for five seconds in tribute to the 18-year-old aspiring rapper, two weeks after he was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson.
A 15-second video clip set against a black-and-white image of Ferguson’s city sign was also played with a crowd in the background chanting ‘hand’s up don’t shoot’ – the slogan used by protesters in the St Louis suburb.
The footage included a quote from writer James Baldwin, which said: ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’
During the awards ceremony, Common told the audience: ‘The people in the Ferguson…in St. Louis have used their voices to call for justice and change – to let everyone know that each and every one of our lives matters.’
In the moment of quiet that followed, artists including Snoop Dogg bowed their heads and closed their eyes before the performance carried on.
MTV President Stephen Friedman confirmed on Sunday the network would air a 15-second spot focusing on race in a bid to continue the discussion about events surrounding the shooting.
‘It’s a call to action to our audience that we have to confront our own bias head-on before we can truly create change,’ Friedman said.