Michael Jackson's name to fall from Video Vanguard Award

02 August 2019 | Art and Entertainment

MTV is reportedly considering removing Michael Jackson's name from the Video Vanguard Award due to the fallout from the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.

The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award is presented at the annual MTV Video Music Awards to an artist who has made significant contributions to the worlds of music, fashion, film and philanthropy and serves as a lifetime achievement award. Previous winners include Jackson, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Britney Spears, and U2, but there is controversy over the award this year following the fallout from HBO's Leaving Neverland documentary, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck detailed their alleged sexual assault by Jackson.

A source told the New York Post's Page Six: “There's a lot of heated discussion at the network about how to handle the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this year, and it's getting ugly. There's talk about if they should change the name, or get rid of it altogether. There's also talk about who would present it and who would accept it. It's a mess.

“MTV potentially banning his name is the latest fallout. They haven't decided yet, but they've been going back and forth on it. There are a lot of issues.”

The award was first introduced in 1984 and Jackson won it in 1988 before it was renamed after him in 1991.

It is not presented every year so there is a possibility that MTV may decide not to award it to anyone this year while they decide how to move forward with it. Sebastian Maniscalco is set to host the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, which will broadcast live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on August 26th.