One of MTV’s most honored statues at the Video Music Awards ceremony may change its name, according to a new report from Page Six. The Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, named for the late singer, is usually given to a performer who has created timeless pieces of art through the medium of music videos.
Reportedly executives at the network are looking to change the name in order to distance themselves after the fallout of the explosive accusations made in HBO’s Leaving Neverlanddocumentary. In the two-part series, two of Michael Jackson’s former mentees, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, claim they were sexually abused by the singer over a period of years while they were minors.
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“There’s a lot of heated discussion at the network about how to handle the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this year, and it’s getting ugly,” a source told Page Six. “There’s talk about if they should change the name, or get rid of it altogether. [There’s also talk] about who would present it and who would accept it. It’s a mess.”
“MTV [potentially] banning his name is the latest fallout. They haven’t decided yet, but they’ve been going back and forth on it. There are a lot of issues,” a source continued.
The allegations made by Robson and Safechuck have been refuted by Jackson’s family and his estate. In February Jackson’s estate filed a $100 million dollar lawsuit against the network, claiming it had breached a prior contract by making disparaging remarks about the singer. HBO has countered, saying the terms of the contract have long since expired.
The award first appeared in 1984 at the network’s inaugural show, and Jackson received the award in 1988. It was later named after the pop star in 1991. Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez are some of the A-listers who have received the honor.
Nominees for the award categories were announced last week, with Taylor Swift, Arianna Grande and Lil Nas X topping the list. The network has not yet announced who will receive the award in 2019.
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However, since the award is not given out annually, it seems there may be time to hold off before a final decision is made, Page Six reports.
20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson
1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.Source: 1 of 20
2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.Source: 2 of 20
3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”Source: 3 of 20
4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.Source: 4 of 20
5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.Source: 5 of 20
6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.Source: 6 of 20
7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.Source: 7 of 20
8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.Source: 8 of 20
9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”Source: 9 of 20
10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.Source: 10 of 20
11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.Source: 11 of 20
12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”Source: 12 of 20
13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.Source: 13 of 20
14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.Source: 14 of 20
15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.Source: 15 of 20
16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.Source: 16 of 20
17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.Source: 17 of 20
18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.Source: 18 of 20
19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.Source: 19 of 20
20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.Source: 20 of 20
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MTV Might Scrub Michael Jackson’s Name From Video Vanguard Award was originally published on rickeysmileymorningshow.com