With the MTV Video Music Awards now days in the past, the awards show’s executive producer, Van Toffler spoke with Billboard.com about the various surprises and other unexpected moments from the annual show.
According to Toffler, Kanye West, who received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award, was initially scheduled to perform a medley of songs. He explained that moments before Kanye accepted his award and announced a potential bid for president in 2020, they were informed that he might only speak.
Despite being informed of the last minute change, Toffler says they were “prepared for both.”
“We originally thought Kanye was going to do a medley,” Van Toffler said. “Then we thought he was going to not do music and talk. Then, about two acts into the show, we thought he would do a couple-song medley. This is after the show started. Then, about an act before, we found out that he might not do music and just speak — but we had to be prepared for both, so we had a track cued up. We were in the truck and we heard this 10 minutes before he was to accept the award.”
Toffler also offered his take on the exchange of words between VMA host Miley Cyrus and rapper Nicki Minaj. In regards to whether or not the moment was staged, he revealed that he thinks the two artists were “not playing.”
“I would say…not playing,” he said. “We had no idea what either of them was going to say, and we didn’t anticipate that. Clearly, from Miley’s reaction, it was genuine.”
With Billboard.com reporting that the 2015 VMAs were watched by three million less viewers than last year’s awards show, Toffler was questioned about the possibility that this year’s show might be MTV’s last.
“There is absolutely no truth to that. It is the last time I will produce the VMAs, but no truth to it being the last one,” Toffler said.
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