The world has seen a lot of bad recently with the riots the have ensued from the Michael Brown/Ferguson shooting and ISIS executing American journalist James Foley, but it has also witnessed a lot of good in terms of the viral natural of the Ice Bucket Challenge and the country rallying behind Jackie Robinson West in the Little League World Series. This Trending News Monday, we’ll focus on one of the stories spreading more good around the world.
If the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) showed audiences one thing this year, it’s that a year can make a world of difference.
Exactly one year ago today, Miley Cyrus released her single “Wrecking Ball,” (which was exactly what her VMA performance the next night turned out to be for her public persona). So last night, when she Jimmy Fallon announced Miley as the winner for Video of the Year (one of the night’s biggest awards), fans expected her to take the stage, but not necessarily steal the show.
As it turns out, Miley didn’t take the stage, but she completely stole the show—for a second year in a row.
In her place, a mystery man walked towards the stage to accept the award, while a tearful Cyrus looked on encouragingly.
“I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States, who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now. I know this because I am one of these people,” Jesse began.
He went on to discuss the issue of homeless children in the US and the homeless population in Los Angeles and finally directed the audience to Miley’s Facebook page where they could learn more about how to address this issue in America.
Viral campaigning isn’t anything new or unfamiliar—take the fan-funded Veronica Mars Movie or MTV’s Challenge star Diem Brown’s MedGift or most notably and recently, the grassroots Ice Bucket Challenge social media campaign. However, not many people use awards shows to ignite a movement.
Not since Marlon Brando’s boycott of the 1973 Academy Awards, during which he refused to accept his best actor Oscar and instead sent Sacheen Littlefeather to speak on his behalf, has an artist used an awards speech so selflessly and effectively.
Before Jesse’s appearance, Miley was sending shockwaves through the audience from announcing her “retirement from twerking” to flaunting her much more conservative than normal outfit. While Miley’s transformation was a springboard for jokes (to quote MTV News contributor Casey Lewis, “We live in a reality in which Miley Cyrus wore more fabric than Taylor Swift”), the singer has actually showed the world her very mature side. Last year she spent the VMA’s Twerking, this year she spent them working for a greater cause far beyond herself. And “this is just the beginning,” she professed.
Together, Miley and Jesse helped take the spotlight off the money, glam and fame that propels the music industry and refocus it on something that can help make the world a better place. So many youth watch programming like MTV or see their favorite artists legitimately making it, and, as Jesse pointed out, that isn’t just a dream for the children with homes, but also for the children without homes.
“A dream you dream alone, is only a dream,” Jesse concluded his speech, “But a dream you dream together is reality.”
For more information on My Friend’s Place, click here.
For a full list of VMA winners, click here.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://ourspace.thesanjosegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/02/Cassandra-Bremer-Our-Space-Photo-e1402061863316.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.[/author_info] [/author]