Was Demi Lovato’s politically-charged Billboard Music Awards performance censored by NBC?
Last night (October 14), Lovato performed her polarizing ballad, “Commander in Chief,” live for the first time during the awards show. The song, which confronts President Donald Trump's response to the nation's most crucial concerns including the global pandemic and racial injustice, has been drawing a ton of controversy for its strong lyrics.
“Commander in Chief, honestly/ If I did the things you do/ I couldn't sleep, seriously/ Do you even know the truth?” she sings. “We're in a state of crisis, people are dyin'/ While you line your pockets deep/ Commander in Chief, how does it feel to still/ Be able to breathe?”
Perhaps the most potent moment of her presentation came in the song’s closing moments, as the word “Vote” suddenly flashed on the stage behind the “Cool for the Summer” star. However, looking at the final broadcast, it appears the camera edited the moment out of the frame by cutting to a close-up of the singer instead.
Sources close to the situation told TMZ that NBC pulled Lovato's “Vote” message because the song itself was “a slam on Trump” and “a call to vote against him.”
Since the song released, Lovato's fans have been feeling conflicted about the 28-year-old addressing politics in her music.
One so-called fan wrote Lovato on Instagram: "I hope you realize this makes people that don't have the same political views feel like they can't listen to you anymore. We couldn't care less what you post about, but this song is going too far.”
Rather than back down, Lovato doubled down. “You do understand as a celebrity, I have a right to political views as well?” she hit back. “I literally don't care if this ruins my career. This isn't about that. My career isn't about that. I made a piece of art that stands for something I believe in.”
Watch both the original, unedited moment here and the final broadcast below.
Photo: Getty Images