Taylor Swift was up for 10 awards tonight at the MTV VMAs, and she just won her most significant on stage. The singer got the award for Video of the Year for her "You Need to Calm Down" video. She used the occasion to make her first major speech after Lover's release, and she naturally incorporated a bigger political statement in it targeted at President Donald Trump specifically and his White House. She spoke about her Equality Act petition and then, non-verbally, made it clear how she felt about the White House taking its time to respond to it.
I just want to say that this is a fan voted award so I first want to say thank you to the fans because in this video, several points were made. So you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally. Regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify. At the end of this video there was a petition—and there still is a petition—for the Equality Act which basically just says we all deserve equal rights under the law and I want to thank you to everyone who signed that petition because it now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount it would need to warrant a response from the White House. I love my cast. I am so grateful to everyone who was in this video. The one who are here, the ones who are at home. We love you so much. Thank you for doing this with us. I love my co-executive producer Todrick Hall. I’m so grateful to my co-director Drew Kirsch, and thank you to the fans for everything you do for us. My cast live their lives so authentically. Thank you for being the example that you are. I love you guys so much. Thank you MTV for lifting up this point and this video.
Swift is up for another nine awards tonight. Those awards are Video of the Year ("You Need to Calm Down"), Song of the Year ("You Need to Calm Down"), Best Collaboration ("ME!" featuring Brandon Urie), Best Pop Song ("You Need to Calm Down"), Best Video for Good ("You Need to Calm Down," she won that), Best Direction ("You Need to Calm Down"), Best Visual Effects ("ME!"), Best Editing ("You Need to Calm Down"), Best Art Direction ("You Need to Calm Down"), and Best Cinematography ("You Need to Calm Down").
Swift opened the MTV VMAs earlier tonight.
Alyssa Bailey News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).