If you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening with MTV’s news department lately, they’re currently in the middle of a restructuring process, which is set to see them take on a more video-based approach, rather than focusing on longform journalism. However, this restructuring has apparently dug up some interesting news in regards to the company removing bad reviews.
As SPIN reports, back in 2016, MTV published a short review of the new Kings Of Leon track ‘Waste A Moment’. The review was titled ‘Kings of Leon Waste Their Moment’, and was rather negative towards the track, going so far as to say “Their sound today is no longer just middle of the road, it’s almost aggressively anonymous.”
During a meeting only a couple of days later, editorial director of music Jessica Hopper, told staff members that the group were displeased with the review and had threatened to remove themselves from the MTV Europe Music Awards.
As SPIN explains, “The complaint over the article went straight to executive-level corporate management, and an agreement was reached that MTV News would, at least temporarily, cease the publication of reviews under 500 words. This was because executives at MTV associated those kinds of blog posts with snarkiness and criticism, both of which were deemed detrimental to the network’s broader ability to work with artists who may be the subjects of such posts.”
A similar incident then happened soon after, with a reviewer speaking of his “emotional disconnect” whilst listening to Chance The Rapper’s record Colouring Book. According to SPIN, Chance and his management got in contact with MTV stating that they wouldn’t work with the company again unless the review was taken down.
SPIN noted that they contacted Chance’s manager, who confirmed this. “Upon the publication of the article, Chance and I got together & both agreed that the article was offensive,” he said. “When we brought our concerns to MTV, our rep agreed that the article was ‘a harsh shot’ & took ownership of the editorial misstep. From there, MTV chose to, on their own volition, to remove the piece.”
At this stage, it’s not clear if any other artists had previously asked MTV to remove their reviews, but we’re certainly going to continue to watch this story and see if anything else unfolds.