MTV adds social activism category to VMAs

The MTV logo can be seen on a sign in front of the MTV studios in Times Square New York December 12, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - MTV on Thursday said it has added a new category highlighting social activism to its popular Video Music Awards show after seeing an influx of artists exploring self-worth and other issues in their music.

The category of “Best Video With a Message” will honour artists and music videos that featured a positive message or raised awareness of key social issues facing today’s youth. The awards will be given out at the popular cable TV network’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) later this month.

MTV’s president Stephen Friedman attributes the creation of the new category to the recent mobilization of celebrities and public figures that have rallied against bullying youths, gay discrimination and promoted self-empowerment.

“During the past year, we’ve seen a remarkable number of artists use their music to explore deeply personal experiences and issues they were passionate about to create powerful videos that resonated with and inspired millions of their fans,” said Friedman said in a statement.

This year’s VMA nominees for “Best Video With a Message” include Pink for “F***** Perfect,” Lady Gaga for “Born This Way,” Katy Perry with “Firework,” Eminem featuring Rihanna for “Love The Way You Lie,” Rise Against for “Make It Stop (September’s Children)” and Taylor Swift for “Mean.”

The 2011 “MTV Video Music Awards” will air live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Aug. 28.

Reporting and writing by Carly Mayberry; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte