SZA’s manager Terrence “Punch” Henderson chastised the MTV Video Music Awards for failing to nominate her for Artist of the Year. The Top Dawg Entertainment executive complained about the snub in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Obviously, she had one of the best years, if not the best year, of any artist at this point,” Punch said. “I don’t see why she wouldn’t be nominated for artist of the year. It just really didn’t make any sense to me. It’s disrespectful.”
Punch revealed he privately confronted MTV but never received an explanation for SZA’s snub. He claimed MTV officials refused to discuss the matter.
“And they ended up saying, ‘OK, well we could do another call’ because there were people on [the call] about logistics for the show who didn’t have anything to do with [the nominations],” he said. “When we tried to set up the second call, they didn’t want to discuss artist of the year, which to me was really a slap in the face,”
SZA was in talks to perform at the 2023 MTV VMAs, but Punch pulled her out of the show due to the snub. Punch took full responsibility for her absence in case she faced any backlash from MTV.
“I figured, why go perform and do this if she’s not going to be respected to the highest level?” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “So, it was my call to actually pull out of the performance.”
SZA did not attend the 2023 MTV VMAs, which were held in New Jersey on Tuesday (September 12). She won the award for Best R&B Video at this year’s event.