Rapper Nicki Minaj confronted Miley Cyrus by calling her a “b*tch” while accepting the award for Best Hip Hop Video for “Anaconda” at the 2015 VMAs on Aug. 30. Minaj was furious Cyrus had suggested she was jealous and “not nice” in a recent New York Times interview.
When Nicki, 32, took the stage to accept her award, she thanked fans and then turned her attention to Miley, 22. “And now, back to this b*tch that had a lot to say about me in the press,” said a visibly angry Minaj. “Miley, what’s good?”
Cyrus, who was hosting the VMAs, blamed the press for distorting her comments. “Hey, we’re all in this industry,” Miley said to Minaj. “We all do interviews, and we all know how they [the press] manipulate. Nicki, congratuf**ku-lations.”
Cyrus added: “I lost this award in 2008 and I was fine with it. Whatever! Because it’s no big deal. It’s just an award and I persevered!”
Miley then flipped her hair and turned her back on Minaj, who was seen mouthing, “Don’t play with me, b*tch.” While some viewers thought the feud was staged, insiders said the beef between Nicki and Miley was real, and MTV staffers were told to make sure the two women didn’t cross paths backstage for fear of a physical fight erupting.
The feud originally stemmed from a Twitter remark Minaj made after her raunchy “Anaconda” video was not nominated for Video of the Year at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Nicki suggested her video (which celebrates women with big butts) was passed over because it didn’t feature slim women. “F*ck them skinny b*tches in the club,” Minaj sang in “Anaconda.”
“If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year,” Minaj tweeted. Nicki didn’t reference any particular artist, but the skinny 5-foot-10 Taylor Swift (who eventually won Video of the Year) personally took offense to the comment. Swift and Minaj briefly exchanged terse words on Twitter, but later made up.
Miley to Nicki: Get Over It, Boo
When asked about the feud between Nicki and Taylor, Miley told the New York Times she thought Minaj handled the situation poorly.
“She was saying that everyone was white and blonde that got nominated, and then Taylor Swift butted in,” said Cyrus. “Not that this is jealousy, but jealousy does the opposite of what you want it to — that’s a yoga mantra.”
Cyrus was annoyed Minaj made herself the focus rather than spotlight the larger issue of body image and race in the music industry. “It’s not anger like, ‘Guys, I’m frustrated about some things that are a bigger issue,'” said Cyrus.
“You [Nicki] made it about you. If you want to make it about race, there’s a way you could do that, but don’t make it just about yourself. Say: ‘This is the reason why I think it’s important to be nominated. There’s girls everywhere with this body type.’ I don’t think MTV did that on purpose.”
Cyrus said Minaj’s angry reaction was typical of the hotheaded Nicki. “What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind,” said Miley. “It’s not very polite. There’s a way you speak to people with openness and love. It became Nicki Minaj and Taylor in a fight, so now the story isn’t even on what you wanted it to be about.”