Thanks to Miley Cyrus' "crotch-thrusting antics" with Robin Thicke, the Video Music Awards Sunday night attracted 10.1 million total viewers and a 7.8 rating among people 12-34 (the network's target demo) per the Nielsen ratings service. According to Twitter, the "We Can't Stop" and "Blurred Lines" medley with Cyrus and Thicke garnered 306,100 tweets per minute during the East Coast airing of the show. To compare, last year's VMAs had a peak of 98,307 tweets per minute.
Rolling Stone reports that "MTV ruffled quite a few feathers with the 2013 edition of the VMAs, which elicited a host of sarcastic fan tweets and a hilarious freeze-frame of Will Smith's family gazing in horror at Lady Gaga."
But the network is also facing more serious criticism from the Parents Television Council, a non-profit organization that battles explicit TV programming. Oddly, the father of chief offender Miley Cyrus, singer-songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus, serves on the council's advisory board.
"I wouldn't make a joke of it, actually," Mika Brzezinski said on Morning Joe Monday, stacking some papers seriously. "That was really, really disturbing. That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed, clearly has confidence issues, probably an eating disorder, and I don't think anybody should have put her onstage. That was disgusting and embarrassing."