Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” won Video of the Year at the 2019 MTV VMAs, and Swift used her acceptance speech to call for equality — and to call out President Donald Trump’s White House.
“In this video, several points were made,” Swift said as she thanked her fans. “You voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally under the law, regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify.”
The video, which won Video for Good earlier in the night, ends with a call to action, with Swift asking viewers to sign her Change.org petition for Senate Support of the Equality Act. The bill would provide protections for LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes and schools.
“It now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” Swift said onstage, before holding up her wrist and tapping an imaginary watch, indicating she had yet to receive such a response.
Swift went on to thank co-executive producer Todrick Hall, co-director Drew Kirsch and her cast: “My cast live their lives so authentically,” she said. “Thank you for being the example you are. I love you so much. Thank you, MTV for lifting up this point and this video.”
Tangentially but hilariously, the award was presented by John Travolta and Queen Latifah, the former of whom said before reading out the envelope: “I shouldn’t do this, because I’ll just mispronounce sh*t and f**k it up. You do it.” After Swift was announced as the winner, Travolta attempted to present the Moon Person trophy to drag queen Jade Jolie, who dressed as Swift in the video and for the VMAs.
This is certainly more understandable than the Adele Dazeem fiasco.
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