MTV Video Music Awards executive producer Bruce Gilmer tells Us Weekly he wants the vibe of this year’s show to be “energetic, positive and loud” — but that’s a challenge amid so much chaos in the world of pop culture.
For example, Gilmer and the other VMAs producers are still figuring out how or if they’ll talk about Demi Lovato’s drug overdose and about substance abuse in general. (Lovato, 25, was found unconscious and hospitalized on July 24 and entered rehab on August 4.)
“It’s so important,” Gilmer told Us of the Demi Lovato issue. “We just talked about this. We toggle back and forth with this big platform. Sometimes, the thought is, ‘Let’s use this for a greater good.’ But sometimes, we get feedback that people want to come in and escape the world for a minute.”
Indeed, much of this year’s VMAs will be escapist fare, Gilmer revealed: “We’re overrun with politics and messages, so what you’re going to see this year are a couple of poignant moments and the lion’s share is going to be straight fun.”
And one of those poignant moments will be a tribute of some sort to Aretha Franklin, whose death came just four days before the show. “She was one of the most incredible voices of all time,” Gilmer observed. “It’s beyond sad. She has such an incredible legacy she left behind. We’re going to something, but we’re waiting to see what form it takes. We’ll see. We want it to be honest and get the right people involved.”
The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards will air on MTV on Monday, August 20, at 9 p.m. EST.
With reporting by Travis Cronin
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