When it comes to Hollywood award shows, it seems that the awards themselves are pretty unique: the Academy Awards have Oscar, the Emmys have a winged woman, and the MTV Video Music Awards have a moonman — at least they did until now.
The origin of Moonman is less random than you might think; it's a nostalgic piece of MTV's early days.
Why is MTV’s VMA award a moonman?
The Moonman is actually an homage to the first-ever Music Television broadcast. When the cable network launched back in 1981, MTV’s creative director Fred Siebert came up with the concept of using a space theme. He believed that the launching of MTV was as big a TV event as the launching of the first man on the moon.
When MTV first hit the air, the first thing viewers saw as the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing as the heard the words, “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.” Music began playing and an astronaut placed the famous MTV logo flag on the moon:
Why did MTV change the Moonman to a Moon Person?
The moonman has been an iconic symbol of MTV since its inception. So, why the sudden change from a moonman to a moon person?
According to MTV President Chris McCarthy, the company embraces gender politics and believes the award statue should be more inclusive of all gender identities.
“Why should it be a man?” McCarthy told The New York Times. “It could be a man, it could be a woman, it could be transgender, it could be nonconformist.”
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