MTV and Label in Dispute Over 'Despacito' VMAs Snub

The song of the summer, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” wasn’t nominated for any MTV Video Music Awards this year. The network and the record label have conflicting explanations as to why.


In a statement to the Associated Press, MTV claimed that Universal Music Latin Entertainment missed the VMA submission deadline. But according to the label, MTV sent its request for submission two weeks after nominees were announced (on July 25). A label rep told AP in a statement, “Until last week, MTV hadn’t solicited UMLE to submit the video for consideration.”

The oversight is glaring since “Despacito” happens to be the most watched video in YouTube history. MTV has yet to clarify the submission mix-up. According to AP:

The network said Monday that “Despacito” - the song not the video - will be acknowledged at the VMAs as a nominee in its song of summer category. That category and its nominees will be officially announced the week of Aug. 21.

The label said it hopes MTV will air the video at some point.

The “Despacito” video has been playing on MTV’s Latin channel, MTV Tres. The label stated: “We would welcome MTV’s decision to recognize Spanish-language videos on its main channel and the Music Video Awards program.” However, as Spin notes, “the flagship MTV channel doesn’t play many music videos [and] the version of “Despacito” currently reigning at #1 in the U.S. is the Justin Bieber-featuring remix, which doesn’t have a video of its own.”

The Justin Bieber version of the song, which helped to gentrify “Despacito” for radio, has spent 14 weeks at No. 1 and tied a Billboard record as the second longest No. 1 run behind Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day,” which had a 16-week run.

Fonsi told AP he didn’t even notice the VMA snub. “Awards are very important but what bigger award [is there] than having the most watched video in the world in history? It doesn’t really get any bigger than that. Hopefully it’ll win some awards down the line, down the road, but I think I got the biggest one so far, straight from the people.”

Culture Editor, Jezebel



Perhaps it’s just because the music video is terribly generic? There’s nothing deserving of an award about it. I like the song well enough, but the video for it is boring. Just because it’s stupidly popular doesn’t mean it deserves awards.