MTV announced late last week the introduction of the first-ever pro-social category for the MTV Video Music Awards: “Best Video With A Message.” This special category celebrates the powerful intersection of music and social activism, and highlights artists who created music videos with positive messages of self-empowerment or raised awareness of key social issues facing today’s youth. With an outpouring of support from across the pop culture spectrum the last year, artists mobilized to support bullied youth, reject LGBT discrimination and emphasize self worth — issues MTV has been addressing through A Thin Line, its anti-cyberbullying and digital abuse campaign, launched in December of 2009 – and now via this special 2011 MTV Video Music Award Category.
“During the past year, we’ve seen a remarkable number of artists use their music to explore deeply personal experiences and issues they were passionate about to create powerful videos that resonated with and inspired millions of their fans,” said MTV president Stephen Friedman.
Each nominated video below for “Best Video with a Message” is accompanied by action steps from MTV Act – MTV’s online platform designed to amplify youth efforts to make things better – where the MTV audience can learn more about and take action on the issue addressed. Viewers can vote for “Best Video with a Message” starting today by visiting vma.mtv.com online or m.mtv.com on their mobile phone through August 16th.
Here are the 2011 VMA nominees for “Best Video with a Message”:
P!nk – “F****** Perfect”
P!nk lets out a rally cry of reassurance for anyone who’s ever felt less than perfect.
Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
Mother Monster gives birth to a world free from prejudice, judgment and self-doubt.
Katy Perry – “Firework”
The California Gurl celebrates the spark and originality in all of us.
Eminem feat. Rihanna – “Love The Way You Lie”
Em and Rih Rih illuminate the pain and peril of domestic violence.
Rise Against – “Make it Stop (September’s Children)”
Rise Against reminds LGBT teens pushed to the edge that “It Gets Better.”
Taylor Swift – “Mean”
Taylor Swift cautions negative naysayers that being mean gets you nowhere.
Viewers can vote for all general VMA categories by visiting vma.mtv.com online or m.mtv.com on their mobile phone through August 16th. In addition, Best New Artist text voting is open to all wireless carrier subscribers by texting BNA to 66333. Voting for this category continues through the show, live on August 28th. Verizon subscribers can vote on all categories via SMS by texting VMA to 66333 (standard message rates apply.)
The “2011 MTV Video Music Awards” will air live from Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 9PM (Live ET/Tape delayed PT.) Previously announced performers for the “2011 MTV Video Music Awards” include first time VMA performers, British singer-songwriter and chart-topper Adele, and breakout band Young The Giant, as well as hip-hop mogul Lil Wayne and R&B superstar Chris Brown. MTV will announce additional performers and presenters at a later date.