The "Vanguard Award" added Michael Jackson's name in 1991.
The MTV Video Music Awards are right around the corner, and at this year's ceremony, Missy Elliott is set to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Each year, this honor is given to a director or performer who has created iconic music videos and whose work in visual artistry has impacted the culture. It was first given to David Bowie, The Beatles, and film director Richard Lester back in 1984, and in 1991, the name of the award was changed to include Michael Jackson's moniker.
Upon receiving the news, Missy was ecstatic and shared her excitement on Instagram. "I am Humbly Grateful to be receiving the MichaelJacksonVideoVanguard Award," she wrote with a slew of emojis. "I Thank my FANS 'Supafriends' who fought diligently to see this day come🙏🏾 @KidFury @crissles who rooted for years!❤️I am crying right now so thankful 😭 I didn’t know if I would ever receive this but I want y’all to know I do not take it for Granted I am GRATEFUL."
However, there were rumblings from Jackson detractors who called for MTV to change the name of the award that the network says is the "VMAs' highest honor." It doesn't look as if the network will be removing Jackson's name anytime soon, a move that Wade Robson calls "an unfortunate choice."
“I don’t personally need MTV to do one thing or the other, but as child abuse survivors all over the world watch to see whether society will support them or not if they have the courage to come forward, in that regard, it’s an unfortunate choice,” Robson said to The Wrap. Robson and a man named James Safechuck were featured on the documentary Leaving Neverland earlier this year. In the series, they described being "friends" with Jackson when they were small children and shared details of alleged sexual abuse by the King of Pop. Jackson passed away in 2009.