The VMAs Will Look Different This Year

Ferguson Community Continues To Demonstrate Over Police Shooting Death Of Michael Brown

You’re going to see a lot of style and a lot of good music tonight, but those aren’t the only things set to stand out during the 2014 Video Music Awards. Tonight MTV will be airing a special PSA from Look Different that talk about what’s going on in Ferguson.

“Eighty percent of our audience believes that bias is at the root of racism and prejudice,” said MTV President Stephen Friedman. “But when cultural explosions like Trayvon Martin, or the recent death on Staten Island, or what is now happening in Ferguson, occur, our audience often feels paralyzed to discuss the issues.”

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He continued, “Ironically, part of the problem is that this generation was taught to be color-blind. As a result, they feel like they’re going to step on a landmine if they say the wrong thing. In fact, our research has shown that fully 70 percent of our white audience grew up not talking about race in their households. They’re striving for fairness and equality and often just aren’t sure how to proceed.”

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As a result of this, MTV has created the Look Different campaign, which talks about different kinds of bias, like racial bias and gender bias. It gives tips on how you might be able to respond if you hear someone say something discriminatory, and also aims to help all viewers take a new look at hidden biases they might have.

“We believe that inviting the audience to define what they feel is positive action is an incredibly powerful way to help reshape norms around what equality and fairness mean today,” Friedman said.

So remember to keep your eyes peeled for the PSAs tonight!

The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards are a wrap! Stick with us for the most talked-about moments, red carpet photos, the VMA winners list and more.

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Head to lookdifferent.org for more examples of bias, what you can do about it and additional resources.