Miley Cyrus Revealed VMAs Producers Made Sexist Comments About Her Performance

"No one would ever say that about Kanye West."

In her epically long guest appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Miley Cyrus spoke candidly about her experience with some sexist producers with whom she worked to shoot her performance of “Midnight Sky” for last Sunday’s MTV VMAs show. (Anyone else super sick of hearing about sexist producers?)

Cyrus self-directed her “Midnight Sky” music video, so she had a clear understanding of how she wanted her VMAs performance to be shot, too, which she conveyed to the production crew.

“I was just asking some questions, not even on some diva shit,” Cyrus told Rogan of the video shoot (which was conducted remotely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic). “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. 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.”

The producers agreed, saying they’d “‘just do the same thing that we would do with the guys,’ because that’s what I want,” Cyrus continued. But during filming, the singer’s bracelets “kept getting caught in all this shit.” Seemingly the most minor wardrobe malfunction of all time, but it was apparently distressing enough for the producers to weaponize against Cyrus in order to undermine her professionalism.

“They said, ‘You want to be treated like a guy and lit like a guy? We wouldn’t be dealing with this if a guy was doing it,’” Cyrus told Rogan. 

The Grammy-nominated artist wouldn’t take that comment lying down, obviously. In response, Cyrus told the producers, “‘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. And I’m aware of that. It’s a ridiculous conversation and also embarrassing.’” Cue the slow clap.

Cyrus expanded on the incident later in the conversation, pointing out that producers would never say to male artists what they said to her. Beyond that, if a male artist were to be firm in his creative decisions, he would never be labelled a “diva” or a “bitch,” as a female artist maybe (probably) would.

“It’s like, come on, why am I not getting that I’m a creative mastermind but I’m becoming a bitch?” Cyrus said. “No one would ever say that about Kanye West choosing what lighting he wants on a performance.” 

Cyrus’ experience only goes to show that double standards continue to run rampant in professional spaces. But we think she has the right attitude about how to navigate an inherently misogynistic workplace and advocate for her creative vision. 

“The balance that I’ve found is firm and kind,” she said. “I don’t lose my kindness but also don’t become a mat. I am firm about what I want.” 

Cue the next round of slow claps.

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