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The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards didn’t waste time getting political, with the VMAs’ first awards presenters, Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, rattling off a series of edgy jokes before they presented the first trophy of the night.
With the 2018 VMAs without a host, Hart and Haddish, promoting their upcoming movie Night School, served as de facto emcees. Hart said he was treating the big, live event like it was “game day.”
“But at this game, you guys can kneel. You can do whatever the hell you want. There’s no old white man that can stop you,” Hart said, referencing the controversy over NFL players protesting during the National Anthem. President Trump has repeatedly criticized those who have demonstrated on the sidelines by taking a knee, and the NFL recently passed a rule that players would be fined if they were on the field and not standing during the National Anthem this season.
The audience cheered at Hart’s remarks.
Later, Hart got in another shot at Trump, saying of the VMAs, “You never know what’s going to happen at the VMAs. I mean, beefs pop off, bad language, people sending out crazy tweets. It’s basically like your typical day at the White House. In your face, Trump — suck it!”
Hart’s barb is just the latest shot at the commander-in-chief on a major awards show. Two months ago, Robert De Niro famously took the stage at Radio City Music Hall, the site of this year’s VMAs, and shouted “Fuck Trump” at the Tony Awards.
Logic delivered a pro-immigration performance of “One Day” wearing a T-shirt that read “F*ck the wall,” taking aim at Trump’s proposed barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. He was joined onstage by families wearing shirts bearing the phrase “We are all human beings.”
Hart and Haddish also took aim at Jersey Shore, DJ Khaled, Fifth Harmony and face tattoos.
“Jersey Shore is back and it’s bigger than ever,” Haddish said of the Family Vacation installment of the reality series. “If you don’t get treatment, that sort of stuff will keep flaring up every couple of years. Yep, that’s a herpes joke.”
Pointing out attendees Lil Pump and Lil Xan, Hart said, “These are also the reason that your 12-year-old cousin wants a face tattoo. Stop writing on your goddamn face…. It’s stupid. You’re not going to get a job if this shit don’t work out.”
After struggling to pronounce Camila Cabello’s name, Haddish praised her for her five VMA nominations before shouting out, “Those of you watching at home — hi, Fifth Harmony.”
The audience “oooh”ed as Hart pointed out that Haddish “went there.”
Watch their full remarks below.
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 21, 2018
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