While we understand that MTV didn't choose the winner, the public did, it should be noted that MTV did nominate Tyler for best new artist.
His win is spurring LGBT groups to stand up and talk out against the extremely young rapper and his lyrics and persona.
This isn’t a case of a few cursory anti-gay slurs over the course of a career. According to NME magazine, the celebrated sophomore album of Tyler the Creator and his group Odd Future, Goblin, features 213 occurrences of the word fa**ot and it’s variations. Compare that to Eminem’s debut album, The Marshall Mathers LP, which featured 13 total occurrences of the word and the sheer scale of Goblin’s anti-gay rhetoric is frankly staggering.
As if that wasn’t frightening enough, the album also contains numerous references to rape and domestic abuse against women. So many in fact, that when Odd Future was given a slot in Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival, it inspired a coalition of advocacy groups such as Rape Victim Advocates to distribute material at the event to counter the hurtful messages Tyler and co. were gleefully spouting onstage.
Some of the supporters claim irony in these lyrics, and Tyler himself claims not to be homophobic, but really just a kid and that's what kids say.
Tyler himself has seemed unfazed by the criticism, responding publicly to both the advocacy groups and Sara Quin with unprintable insults. When questioned by NME about such criticism in an interview, he employed the thoroughly tired defense of “I didn’t mean it that way,” saying: “I’m not homophobic. I just think ‘fa**ot’ hits and hurts people. It hits. And ‘gay’ just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids. We don’t think about that sh*t.”
The problem with the argument from supporters is that not everyone can come to the conclusion of irony, and now MTV is elevating Tyler to where people could start seeing him as some sort of role model or idol because of his success, and how (and with what) he achieved it.
Here's what GLAAD had to say:
“Rather than providing simply a larger platform, MTV and other networks should educate viewers about why anti-gay and misogynistic language has no place in the music industry today,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD. “Given Tyler’s history of such remarks, viewers and potential sponsors should refrain from honoring homophobia and in the future look to a more deserving artist.”
We were also taken aback by the win. GLAAD hits the nail on the head in this case, and many of you will probably not find that shocking that we agree with them.
But, hopefully you don't find it shocking because it's the right thing to agree with.
What do U think?? Does someone with lyrics like these deserve this??
[Image via Getty Images.]