MIA Lashes Out at VMAs Over ‘Borders’ Snub: ‘Racism Sexism Classism Elitism’


M.I.A. on January 28, 2015 in London, England.

Credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Singer MIA lashed out at the MTV VMAs on Thursday, July 28, after her music video “Borders” wasn’t nominated. The singer called the awards show racist in a series of tweets.

“MIA – BORDERS is not included in the VMAs #hahahahhaahahhaha!! Racism sexism classism elitism #dontwantyourlane!” the songstress tweeted. “BORDERS came representing people outside US showing 🌍. This is a perfect example of ‘allowed’ voice vs excluded voices. Even if U direct it. … not here 4 EGO or Accolades but know before you tell other 🌍 artists they have the same platform as major US artists coz they don’t #🌍.”

The Grammy-nominated artist concluded her rant by tweeting “#f–ktheVMAs we don’t need their recognition!!”

This isn’t the first time the VMAs have been blasted as racist. Nicki Minaj similarly slammed the awards show last year while referring to Taylor Swift’s bevy of noms, tweeting “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year.”

The 41-year-old rapper’s video for “Borders” attempts to shed light on the worldwide refugee crisis. MIA told TIME in December 2015 that one of the magazine’s photos of refugees piled in a boat influcend her video.

“I’ve taken a lot of criticism and made a lot of sacrifices because I keep talking about this,” she added at the time. “I could never talk about this again and be more successful, more accessible and more famous and more rich. But I’ve never done that because that aspect is important for me.”

This year’s nominees for Video of the Year include Adele, Beyoncé, Drake, Justin Bieber and Kanye West.

Beyonce is up for a career-record of 11 nominations for her visual album Lemonade, including Video of the Year for “Formation” and Best Female video for “Hold Up.” Adele follows with an impressive eight nominations, including Video of the Year for her hit “Hello.”

The MTV VMAs air Sunday, August 28, at 9 p.m. ET. Click here for a full list of nominees.

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