Miley Cyrus' performance at the MTV Video Music Awards drew plenty of attention from viewers -- and at least one group isn't happy about what it saw.
Donning a flesh-colored bikini, the 20-year-old former Disney star was seen by millions of viewers sticking her tongue out repeatedly, seductively twerking and suggestively groping fellow performer Robin Thicke during renditions of "We Can't Stop" and Thicke's ubiquitous hit, "Blurred Lines" according to CBS News.
The blogosphere quickly erupted with condemnations pointed at Cyrus, and some celebrities even publicly criticized the performance as inappropriate.
The Parents Television Council blasted MTV for the telecast, condemning Cyrus' raunchy performance with Robin Thicke and the show as a whole.
And the critics don't end there.
According to the Guardian Miley Cyrus's twerking routine was cultural appropriation at its worst
Exactly half a century ago on Wednesday, Martin Luther King described his dream, a dream in which "one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers".
So it seems deliciously apt in terms of reflecting how race relations have progressed in the US since Dr King's era that, just a whisker short of the anniversary of his speech, the world bore witness to one of the more intriguing examples of cultural appropriation. Sadly, King omitted to say whether he also dreamed of "little white girls from Tennessee mimicking anilingus on little black girls wearing giant animals on their backs", so it's impossible to know how he would have reacted to Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMAs on Sunday. But it seems likely that not even he could have foreseen how the American celebrity world would manage to twist his image into something quite so, if not actually racist, then certainly race-ish.
"What could have been a major transition moment in Cyrus’ career turned into a circus sideshow, and now the only thing people will remember about her for the next news cycle is how she masturbated a foam finger in front of millions of people," wrote Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly.
Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American actress and recording artist. The daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, she held minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her childhood. In 2006, Cyrus rose to prominence as a teen idol after being cast in the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana, in which she portrayed the starring character Miley Stewart. After signing a recording contract with Hollywood Records in 2007, she released Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, which served as the series' soundtrack and Cyrus' debut studio album. It sold three million copies in the United States, and additionally produced the Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single "See You Again". That year, her Best of Both Worlds Tour was adapted into the film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.
Cyrus' second album Breakout (2008) was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales exceeding one million copies. It also featured the successful tracks "7 Things" and "Fly on the Wall". That same year, she launched her film career as the voice actress for Penny in the animated film Bolt. She earned a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for her performance of its theme song, "I Thought I Lost You."
In 2009, Cyrus starred in the feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie, whose soundtrack and lead single "The Climb" introduced her to country and adult contemporary markets. Cyrus developed an adult image and mainstream pop sound with her extended play The Time of Our Lives (2009). Peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, its track "Party in the U.S.A." became her highest-peaking single on the chart. Cyrus' maturing image progressed with the film The Last Song and her third album Can't Be Tamed in 2010. The latter project featured more prominent dance elements than her earlier releases, and was promoted through sexually-themed performances. During the following two years, she focused on her acting career with several television and film appearances.
In 2013, Cyrus will release her fourth album Bangerz through RCA Records. Its lead single "We Can't Stop" was promoted by a provocative music video and a controversial performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
But Cyrus is not without her defernders:
"It's the VMAs, what did you guys expect?" said Justin Timberlake during a radio interview.
"I like Miley. I like her a lot. I think, you know, she's young. She's letting everyone know that she's growing up," he continued. "I just think it's the VMAs. It's not like she did it at the Grammys."
Despite the controversy, USA Today reported that Cyrus took a minute Monday to share Rolling Stone's assessment of her gig — "Miley was the one star in the room who truly understood what the MTV Video Music Awards are all about!"
And then she began tweeting new photos of herself in provocative poses, all showing her backside.
First Miley is seen squatting in a red, white and black Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls shorts and bikini bra top.
She then followed it up with the shot of herself in a locker room, sporting a thong over white bike pants and the red top. She captioned it: "#23 #youcanthangwithus #boyslockerroom"