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MTV Awards high on drama, low on security

September 14, 2009 |  3:53 pm

Taylor So let's assume that Kanye West's hijacking of Taylor Swift's special moment at last night's "Video Music Awards" wasn't staged. Although our inner cynic thinks "setup," we keep being told that West acted on his own and that Swift was visibly upset backstage after the incident.

Does that mean that security at the MTV Awards is so lax that pretty much anyone can just wonder up to the stage and take over the show? Is it like an airport where once you get through the initial round of security you can roam anywhere?

It'd be different if West had sauntered out from backstage, but he got up from his seat and rushed the stage where apparently there was no one there to tell the rapper to pump the brakes. Unlike other awards shows like the Emmys and Oscars, which tend to be staid affairs with crowds made up of industry executives, stars and media, the MTV Awards has all that and -- gasp -- regular people as well. After all, who else are you going to get to get to sit in a mosh pit for a few hours? You'd think that alone would merit a few beefy guards scattered about.

It's not like there isn't security elsewhere during the telecast. At last night's show, which was held at Radio City Music Hall, attendees had their bags searched and went through a check point and had a metal detector wand waved over them before being allowed entry. Tickets were constantly checked and rechecked. 

Furthermore, one might think that after the Kanye incident, MTV would have said to themselves, "Let's make sure that doesn't happen again tonight." But no, at the end of the show Little Mama, star of the cable network's show "America's Best Dance Crew," rolled on stage and awkwardly got her groove on behind Jay-Z during his closing performance.

Whether last night's incident will have MTV thinking about tightening security around the stage in the future remains to be seen. While the network prides itself on the spontaneity of the telecast -- if it can go to all the trouble of having Pink perform acrobatics while lip syncing -- they can hire a few moonlighting New York cops to stop the occasional disgruntled performer from spoiling the show.

An MTV spokeswoman said "security measures were absolutely in place and we take the security of everyone in attendance very seriously. As with all our events, we will conduct a thorough review and this is one of the areas we will be addressing." The spokeswoman added the network has an "assumption of trust" with the artists and an expectation that everyone will "exemplify a certain level of decorum."

Might want to rethink that assumption on a case-by-case basis.

In the meantime, no word if the Emmys are going to boost security for their broadcast this Sunday. They might want to. We hear that Glenn Close will be really mad if her "Damages" co-star William Hurt doesn't win.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Taylor Swift. Credit: Getty Images