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28 Aug 2013

The Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a complaint against the channel over the 20-year-old's routine, which saw her dance suggestively in a nude bikini with singer Robin Thicke.

It argued the show should not have been rated as suitable for 14 year olds, adding: "Heads should roll at MTV."

Miley's father Billy Ray Cyrus is among those on the PTC's advisory board.

However, he is unlikely to have been party to the complaint, which also criticised MTV for airing a condom advert during the show.

"This much is absolutely clear: MTV marketed adults-only material to children while falsely manipulating the content rating to make parents think the content was safe for their children," Dan Isett, the PTC's director of public policy said.

"MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' [a sexually-suggestive dance] in a nude-coloured bikini.

"How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?"

'Really disturbing'

Advisory board member Paul Porter added: "The Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance simply substituted talent with sex.

He said that MTV's owners Viacom had "obviously broken" its own standards "for financial gain".

The PTC also criticised Lady Gaga's opening act, which she ended in a sea-shell bikini, and another advert for an R-rated film during the first commercial break.

According to its website, the PTC was founded to "ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media".

Cyrus's performance also drew criticism from a number of US media outlets over her performance.

On MSNBC, Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski called it "really, really disturbing", while NBC's Anna Chan called it "embarrassingly raunchy".

However other critics praised the performance, including Billboard's Bill Werde and Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield, who said: "Miley stole the night".

Cyrus appears to be unaffected by the criticism, tweeting: "My VMA performance had 306,000 tweets per minute. That's more than the blackout or Superbowl!"

Music industry sources say the former Disney star can expect a sales boost of between 10 and 20% as a result.

Her new album, Bangerz, is due for release in October but has been climbing the digital charts based on pre-orders alone, while her single We Can't Stop is in the top five in both the UK and North America.

The MTV VMAs has often been a source of controversy. In 2001, Britney Spears gave a raunchy rendition of her hit I'm A Slave 4 U, with a python draped over her shoulders.

Two years later Madonna kissed Spears and Christina Aguilera on stage, and in 2009 Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for best female video, ranting that Beyonce should have won instead.


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