As per tradition, the nominations for this year’s Video Music Awards have caused quite a stir. Much to the surprise of even awards show’s producers, Taylor Swift’s music video for “Look What You Made Me Do” was not nominated for Video of the Year.
The snub has left VMA executive producers Jesse Ignjatovic and Bruce Gillmer scratching their heads. Swift, who has historically been a VMA darling — and even premiered the video at last year’s ceremony — seemed like an obvious choice for a nominee. "It was an amazing video, so I wish she had nominations and I wish she was here because I'm huge fan," Ignjatovic told Entertainment Tonight.
"We made sure that all of our core artists are in the nominee pool and we really take what comes back to us," Gillmer explained to ET. "It's voted on by a wide range of people. I think what's interesting is sometimes you get a different look if you go into a fan-voted situation. So who knows; maybe next year will be fan-voted...The dice roll and you never know."
But wait. Aren’t the VMA nominees voted for by the fans? Yes and no. Once nominees are selected, the winner is determined by the fans, but the nominees are carefully selected by MTV in a process that remains unexplained. The Academy Awards have the Academy, the Golden Globes have the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but who are the people behind the VMA nominees? It’s all very secretive.
Voting – fan voting, more specifically – has officially begun, but if you’re looking for a chance to vote for Swift, unfortunately, you won’t be able to. The three categories in which her music video is nominated, best art direction, best visual effects, and best editing, are chosen by industry experts and are not open to public vote. Swift is not scheduled to perform or present any of the awards either, so all in all, it is a very Swift-less VMAs this year. Swift was previously nominated for Video of the Year for “I Knew You Were Trouble” in 2013 and won in 2015 for “Bad Blood.”
Refinery29 has reached out to MTV for comment on their nomination process.