The MTV Video Music Awards is a highly star-studded event, as many of the world’s top artists and actors gather for an evening to celebrate the achievements highlighted in each of the award show’s categories. While the annual event is mostly meant to be viewed as a good time as the awards are presented and selected artists go all-out in delivering over-the-top stage-performances, it can also take on a more serious vibe.
In a recent interview with Us Weekly, VMA executive producer Bruce Gillmer explained that although he’s hoping this year’s VMAs will be “energetic, positive and loud,” he and the rest of show’s producers are currently having a rather difficult time in deciding whether or not Demi Lovato’s recent drug overdose should be made a topic of discussion, as it will add a bit of darkness to the otherwise festive night.
As many fans are aware by now, Lovato, 25, was immediately rushed to the hospital after she was found unresponsive at her Hollywood Hills home last month due to an apparent drug overdose. She spent nearly two weeks in the hospital recovering before entering rehab on August 4.
As the “Sober” singer is a prominent fixture in pop culture, Gillmer reveals he and his team are unsure of how to approach the subject of her overdose and the issue of substance abuse in general, if it all.
“It’s so important. We just talked about this. We toggle back and forth with this big platform. Sometimes, the thought is, ‘Let’s use this for a greater good.’ But sometimes, we get feedback that people want to come in and escape the world for a minute,” he told the media outlet.
It is not unheard of for award shows to become a platform for celebrities to take a stance on heavy-weighted topics, including politics and the president.
This year’s Golden Globes saw many celebrities rise up in solidarity for the Time’s Up movement in light of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal. A-listers supported the many high-profile women who bravely stepped forward to bring the now disgraced media mogul’s alleged sexual crimes to light by dressing in all-black and delivering powerful acceptance speeches. As many will remember, Oprah Winfrey’s empowering, powerful speech went on to make headlines.
“We’re overrun with politics and messages, so what you’re going to see this year are a couple of poignant moments and the lion’s share is going to be straight fun,” Gillmer added.
One of those “poignant moments” will honor the late “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, who passed away on Thursday at 76-years-old. Gillmer praised the “Respect” singer as having “one of the most incredible voices of all time.”
“She was one of the most incredible voices of all time. It’s beyond sad. She has such an incredible legacy she left behind. We’re going to something, but we’re waiting to see what form it takes. We’ll see. We want it to be honest and get the right people involved.”
The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Monday, August 20, on MTV.