MTV is about to relaunch their shiny new version of Total Request Live. As to whether or not the show can make a comeback given the fact that young people rarely watch live television and mostly consume music videos on the internet is unclear, but one thing is certain: the show will be bad.
Very bad, actually, according to this interview the show runner Albert Lewitinn (a former CBS News producer) did with the Fader. In the interview Lewitinn is asked some soft questions about things like dream guests (Beyoncé and Kanye, predictably) but it’s when the interview turns to politics that things really go south.
When asked if TRL would let on extremely popular artists who are also known abusers of women (like rapper XXXTentacion who was charged last year with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, the details of which are terrifying), Lewitinn has this to say:
I’m not sure I want to answer that question. We want to be on what pop culture wants. When it comes to something like that, it’s something that we would have to look into. It’s a tough question to ask, I can’t answer that question until something like that happens.
Actually that response is an answer!
And when asked if he would ever have President Trump on the show this is the response:
I would love both. He’s welcome to hashtag us and @ TRL. He’s the president of the United States. Of course we would welcome him on. He’s the president of the United States.
MTV (which, full disclosure, I formerly worked for) is currently trying to rebrand itself as a “woke” channel for young people. In August, they aired a particularly political VMAs, which featured appearances from trans military members and a speech from Heather Heyer’s mother. But it seems like possible appearances on TRL from people like Donald Trump and XXXTentacion apparently fit into the cool, youthful, politically-progressive image the channel wants?