Each year, the MTV Video Music Awards give us something to talk about. Last year, it was Miley Cyrus’s transition from a sugary-sweet Disney star to a twerking, tongue-wagging pop icon. This year, the show is hoping to jump-start a more serious conversation. During tonight’s broadcast, MTV plans on airing a 15 second Public Service Announcement addressing the conflict currently happening in Ferguson, Missouri.
The clip is set to air during one of the show’s commercial breaks and will reportedly address the civil rights issues currently under scrutiny thanks to the protests taking place in the city after 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally wounded by a police officer. Two TV spots are scheduled during the show. One will feature a black and white backdrop of sign of the city of Ferguson with a quote that reads, “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
The second video planned for the VMA pre-show will feature young people discussing stereotypes with the theme “Look. Listen. Change.” A statement from the network explained MTV’s decision to address the conflict:
MTV has been covering the events in Ferguson from the Millennial point of view since they first began. Utilizing all of our screens – from short-form, powerful interstitials on-air to editorial posts online and ongoing Twitter conversation, MTV has tapped into the confusion and emotion still permeating around this story.
Take a look at both commercials below.