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Of all the awards shows, the MTV Video Music Awards seems to attract the most stars making statements, whether they’re political, social or personal initiatives. This year’s carpet was no exception.
In addition to daughter Blue Ivy, Beyonce brought the mothers of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant to the VMAs tonight. All the women (except Grant’s mother) appeared in Beyonce’s Lemonade visual album holding pictures of their deceased sons.
In 2012, Martin’s death sparked the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement. Brown, Garner and Grant were all killed at the hands of police officers, and their deaths also sparked outrage and protests across America.
Beyonce won the video of the year award and dedicated it to the people of New Orleans, where she filmed much of Lemonade.
During the show, Alicia Keys noted that it was the 53rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and shared a poem that touched on the cause of racial equality.
The evening’s red-carpet activism began with Lance Bass, who donned a bright blue jacket that made his aversion to a certain presidential candidate quite clear.
The piece was designed by Rey Ortiz and was emblazoned on the back with the phrase “Love Trumps Hate.” The “o” in “love,” naturally, was a heart. The musician paired the statement-making jacket with black pants, a white shirt and a tie. This election cycle, Bass has already been outspoken about his allegiance to Hillary Clinton, though he’s not a member of either major political party.
LOVE TRUMPS HATE: Lance Bass at the 2016 MTV VMAs. (Photo: @MTV/Twitter)
Amber Rose’s cause was less political in nature but was one she promoted proudly. The mom, talk show host and emoji creator walked the red carpet flanked by men in MUVA shirts — her self-proclaimed nickname, slang for “mother” — while she wore a black pantsuit with a lacy bra underneath. Her big push: the upcoming Amber Rose Slut Walk, on Oct. 1. The feminist (and ex of Kanye West) has made it her personal mission to end sexual violence, body shaming and slut shaming.
Smoking — specifically teen smoking — was the focus of Teen Wolf actress Holland Roden’s efforts at the VMAs, where she appeared in an ivory Kayat jumpsuit and cape with sparkling gold glitter in her roots. She filmed a video especially for the awards show with Truth Orange, which aims to discourage smoking by showing how it destroys one’s social life. The actress shared the video and hashtag #squadless on social media as she headed to the red carpet.
While she didn’t come out and say it, Catfish host Nev Schulman’s fiancee, Laura Perlongo, seemed to be making a statement about her baby bump. She turned up on the carpet wearing only black pants, an open olive-colored bomber — which coordinated with her love’s ensemble perfectly — and a body chain, putting her tanned bump front and center.
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