The equivalent to a lifetime achievement honor, the first Vanguard Awards were handed out in 1984 at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards, to David Bowie, The Beatles and A Hard Day’s Night director Richard Lester. In 1991, three years after Jackson himself was bestowed with the award, it was renamed the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Most recently, in 2018, Jennifer Lopez became the first Latin artist to receive the award.
But now, six months after the documentary Leaving Neverland resurfaced allegations against Jackson — two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, claim they were sexually abused as children by the singer — “There’s a lot of heated discussion at the network about how to handle the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award … and it’s getting ugly,” a source tells Page Six. “There’s talk about if they should change the name, or get rid of it altogether…. It’s a mess.”
For this year’s VMAs, to be held Monday, Aug. 26, no recipient has been announced for award, which is not given out annually.
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