During a conversation with Page Six, a source disclosed that there are talks within MTV about renaming the award.
"There’s a lot of heated discussion at the network about how to handle the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this year, and it’s getting ugly," the source claims. "There’s talk about if they should change the name, or get rid of it altogether. [There’s also talk] about who would present it and who would accept it. It’s a mess."
MTV has been recognizing the accomplishments of legendary artists, directors, and entertainers with their VMA Video Vanguard Award since 1984. Due to his groundbreaking visuals, the network decided to rename the award to the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 1991. Yet, in March, HBO resurfaced claims that Jackson sexually abused minors with their Leaving Neverland documentary.
For Leaving Neverland, two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, claim that Jackson had a sexual relationship with them while they were children. This documentary brought backlash to both Jackson and HBO. Some people have questioned Robson and Safechuck's allegations while others decided to boycott Jackson's music. This led Jackson's estate to deny the accusations and file a $100 million lawsuit against HBO and another lawsuit against the accusers. This cloud of confusion surrounding Jackson's legacy has resulted in MTV questioning if they should remove his name from the award.
"MTV [potentially] banning his name is the latest fallout," the source said. "They haven’t decided yet, but they’ve been going back and forth on it. There are a lot of issues."
MTV doesn't give out the award annually. And although they announced this year's nominees, they haven't revealed any news on who would be the recipient of the Video Vanguard Award.