What did I think when I first heard about the furore generated by one Miley Cyrus and her performance at the VMA awards? That’s great business. Not especially original, it’s true, but great business nonetheless.
La Cyrus has been positively deluged with criticism. Those on the right are naturally frothing at the explicit nature of the show while those on the left are tearing out their hair out over the racial and gender implications of her “twerking” in a flesh coloured bikini before an audience of millions. And perhaps billions now everyone’s accessed the video on the internet.
However, her “people” will be well aware that all this is grist to the mill. It surely is worth taking the heat in terms of yearly earnings.
Because, naturally, every piece of outraged commentary has been accompanied by a link to said video so you can watch it. Purely for research purposes, I quite understand.
Meanwhile Miley is on front pages around the world, and will occupying a prominent place in the global media for days, if not weeks, to come. She has become one of the most talked about names on the planet.
What’s more, her fans will buy or download millions of dollars worth of her material as a result, largely because of the outrage.
There’s nothing like a bunch of self righteous older commentators telling you that something is a thoroughly bad thing to get her target market to part with their cash, regardless of the quality of what they’re buying.
The formula is a tried and tested one, and it works every time.
And so, as the news move on, the magazines will move in, falling over themselves to interview the starlet because Miley’s face on the front of a magazine equals money. And if they can’t get Miley, how about Dad? The wholesome country singer Billy Ray who’s tweeted supportive messages and must now wonder whether he can’t turn a few quid through a re-release of his signature tune “Achy Breaky Heart”. Hey, what about a duet? Later on perhaps a semi contrite Miley sits down and does a confessional on Oprah, where she could complain about how terribly stressful it's all been?
Perhaps the person we should really feel sorry for is poor old Robin Thicke, whom Miley gyrated against as his song “Blurred Lines” was playing.
No, seriously. He was previously the recipient of the outrage cashometer as a result of the video for said ditty being (briefly) taken off YouTube on account of its featuring a bevy of topless models dancing along with the (clothed) singer and his pals.
Now he’s been thoroughly upstaged. But don’t cry too hard. He’ll still generate a few extra sales as he basks in the reflected, erm, glory?