Billie Eilish And Rosalía Are (Rightfully) Facing Backlash After Winning The Best Latin VMA Award

In case you missed it, the MTV Video Music Awards was held last night - and there's nothing that says VMAs like controversy. This time, Billie Eilish and Rosalía face a backlash after winning the Best Latino Award for their song "Lo Vas A Olvidar".
Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images for MTV / ViacomCBS, Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images
The category was full of competition from Latin American superstars and their hits - including Shakira and Black Eyed Peas' "Girl Like Me"; Maluma's "Hawai"; Karol G's "Bichota"; J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy's "Un Dia (One Day)"; and "Dákiti" by Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez.
So people (rightly) felt a certain way when the category winners were non-Latin American women (Billie is of Irish and Scottish descent while Rosalía is Spanish).
Theo Wargo / Getty Images for MTV / ViacomCBS, Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Spotify
Some commented that the win felt like an "insult":
Others have made reaction memes, because what else can you do when an obviously unjust decision is made:
And it's important to note that the VMAs are decided by fans, which some people were quick to point out:
This is not the first time the VMAs - or music awards in general - have been called out because of racial bias and diversity issues. In 2015, Nicki Minaj called the VMAs for failing to nominate their "Anaconda" video for best choreography and video of the year, despite its monumental popularity.
Christopher Polk / Getty Images
At the 2014 Grammys, Macklemore notoriously won Best Rap Album on Kendrick Lamar - and even apologized for it. And in a recent controversy, The Weeknd announced it was boycotting the awards show after being banned from the competition (ridiculously) despite multiple hits on the charts.
NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
And in 2020, Billie at least partially agreed with the critics who said her historic Grammy sweep was due to her being white: "Then there's the other side of the whole thing: people don't give a fuck about me because I'm white . she's white, that's why she won. ' You know what? I agree with the feeling; I understand why people say that. The truth is, they can say what they want, but don't undermine all the hard work it took to get here. "
For her part, Rosalía had previously faced backlash for appropriating Latin American and Afro-Caribbean cultures despite being from Spain.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images for The Recording Academy
So far, none of the artists has commented on the problematic decision, but we will keep you informed of all statements.
In this article:
Billie Eilish
American singer-songwriter
Rosalia
Spanish artist

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