Accentuating the positive, MTV responded to Kanye West’s blistering criticism about his treatment at the Video Music Awards by lavishing him with praise and extending an invitation to work together again.
“MTV has a long and collaborative relationship with Kanye and we hope and look forward to continuing that meaningful relationship,” MTV’s statement said Tuesday.
If so, it’s a relationship in strong need of repair.
West not only blasted MTV during an interview on New York radio station Z100 Monday – he said he felt “betrayed” – but his rage can be seen on a video sweeping the Internet showing his backstage meltdown punctuated by profanities toward the network. (See the video here).
In the interview with Z100, West claimed he wasn’t mad he didn’t win, but that he took issue with the programming, including opening with an unprepared Britney Spears and relegating him to perform in a Palms Casino Resort luxury suite rather than on the main stage in the Pearl theater.
MTV’s statement didn’t address his specific complaints; instead, it complimented West.
“Kanye West is a visionary performer and he didn’t let his fans down at this year’s VMA’s,” the statement said. “From his incredible renditions of “Stronger” and “The Good Life,” to the spectacular aerial shots from his multi-level suite which made for one of the grandest visuals of the night, the audience feedback on MTV.com has been overwhelming. In fact, he is the only artist to have three performances ranked in the top 15 on MTV.com.”
But a source close to the production said West in fact asked to perform in the suite because he wanted a more energetic setting. The performance, actually pre-taped on Friday night, even got a thumbs-up from West, who viewed it with MTV executives before it aired, the source says.
As for Spears, MTV said: “Britney Spears has had so many memorable, high-energy performances at the VMAs over the years and no one wanted to see her succeed more than her MTV fans and MTV.”
On one level, she succeeded again. With Spears comeback hype before the awards, the VMA ratings were up 23 percent from last year’s show.