The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards named Ed Sheeran as the Artist of the Year, featured stunning performances, and paid tribute to transgender army members. The most celebrated musical event of the year turned out to be a highly politicized show, with some controversial comments made on the side.

The audience and musical fans who witnessed the event as it aired live from Inglewood, California were taken into a roller coaster ride of musical achievements, and political opinions throughout the show. It began with host Katy Perry’s words about President Trump’s Twitter activity, and her subtle anti-supremacist showmanship on stage.

Perry commented how Trump would have drafted more tweets on social media. She also showed a costume inspired by a popular TV show that told the story of a world ruled by a harsh authoritarian regime.

Politicized event

The 2017 MTV VMAs was aired Sunday night, just a few weeks after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The protests killed and injured many people.

It was the first time that the musical awards show removed gender-specific awards, and instead named them simply as “Artist of the Year.” Sheeran won the category, along with another major winner Kendrick Lamar for Video of the Year.

It was also a moment for MTV to honor a deserving artist with the historic “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.” Pink was this year’s recipient of the award, who then made a powerful acceptance speech.

Zero tolerance for hatred

During her speech, she shared how her six-year-old daughter sometimes felt discouraged, because she believed she looked like a boy. The female artist stated, “Baby, we don’t change, we take the grave inside the shell and we have a pearl. We help others change so they can see more beauty. To the artists here, I am inspired by every one of you.

Thank you for showing your true selves.”

As Paris Jackson presented the award for Best Pop Video, she condemned the white supremacist rally in Virginia by briefly impersonating President Trump’s voice. She added, “I hope we leave here tonight as a nation with liberty, zero tolerance for violence, hatred, and discrimination.”

Another dramatic highlight of the show was the appearance of Susan Bro, the mother of the woman killed during the Charlottesville protests.

She presented an award directed toward music with socially-relevant messages. The show also decried racism, which was labelled as “America’s original sin,” Time reported. The MTV Video Music Awards is an annual show that honors the best musical performances in the industry.