Maneskin Singer Calls MTV VMA Censorship ‘Prejudice’ Toward Rock + Women
Maneskin made headlines back in late August when their performance at the MTV Video Music Awards appeared to have been censored during the live broadcast. During the award show, the band performed the track "Supermodel," opening with singer Damiano David turning to the camera to reveal he was wearing "assless" chaps. For a good portion of the rest of the performance, the band was either shot in close ups or from an aerial view, which caught the attention of fans online. Now, in a recent interview with NME, the band has addressed the incident.
While some may have assumed that David's wardrobe might have presented a problem, the network had previously shown a Prince performance during an awards show in the '90s with the iconic musician also sporting similar assless chaps. That said, another incident during the performance could have caused the decision on what was aired as bassist Victoria De Angelis appeared to have a wardrobe malfunction with a strap on her outfit coming free during the performance. In the aftermath of the live show, MTV did release an edited video of the band's performance blurring out the bassist's breast.
During NME's In Conversation series interview, the two musicians spoke about the censorship during their performance and if they felt that it was a bit much.
“It shows that there are still many, many prejudices towards rock bands and towards women,” David said. “There is a lot to work on and we try to do our part.”
“It’s sad, but it’s good that people then talk about it and think about it,” De Angelis added. “It’s stupid that there has to be this control and censorship over people’s bodies.”
This is not the first time an exposed female breast has wreaked havoc on an awards show. In fact, as recently as 2021 there was another incident as the Twitch stream for the 2021 Heavy Music Awards was shut down due to Wargasm bassist Milkie Way's performance with Trash Boat's Tobi Duncan. During the performance, her nipples became visible from her chain-designed top, leading to the decision to shut down the stream.
"I would say I'm sorry for getting the Heavy Music Awards Twitch stream shut down for 3 days because of my nipples but I'm simply not," Way stated at the time, then adding, "Man, can't believe my nipples are so powerful." Duncan, a male vocalist, also appeared without his shirt on, and commented on the double standard by stating, "We both had our nipples out so they can take that double standard and get into the fucking ocean" and then adding a hashtag for #freethenip in his Twitter commentary.
You can see the edited version of Maneskin's 2022 MTV Video Music Awards performance below.