Miley Cyrus directed the music video for "Midnight Sky" herself, but she had to work with a director when filming the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards version, which aired during the ceremony on Sunday night. In her conversation with Joe Rogan, Cyrus opened up about the sexist comments she had to put up with while filming the performance. Cyrus also discussed the end of her marriage with Liam Hemsworth on Rogan's podcast.
Cyrus told Rogan her dispute with the VMAs director had nothing to do with "some diva s—." It was all about the lighting. "I wanted the lights to be turned off and then the lighting of the room to just be lighting me. So no key light, no beauty light," the singer said, via TooFab. "And beauty light is always used on women and I said, turn the f— lights off. You would never tell Travis Scott or Adam Levine that he couldn't turn the beauty light off. I want this red lighting." The lighting team she was working with then told her, "'Okay, okay, we'll just do the same thing that we would do with the guys,' because that's what I want," she recalled.
When it came to filming the VMAs performance, Cyrus was asked if she wanted to "be treated like a guy and lit like a guy" as her bracelets were getting caught in something. Cyrus did not go into details, since the Rogan podcast was recorded before the VMAs, but she was likely referring to the end of the VMAs performance when she swung from a wrecking ball. "I said, 'Well, a guy wouldn't be doing this because a guy doesn't sell your show with sex the way that I'm going to,'" Cyrus said. "It's a ridiculous conversation and also embarrassing."
Rogan asked Cyrus if it was hard to make sure her own artistic vision is not compromised when a director has their own ideas. "I get it done. The balance that I've found is firm and kind. I don't lose my kindness, but also don't become a mat, but I am firm about what I want," Cyrus said. Cyrus then brought up sexism in the music industry, wondering why she would be called a "diva" if she made creative demands but Kanye West or The Weeknd are praised. "No one would ever say that about Kanye West choosing what lighting he would want on a performance," she said. "That's what I started directing my own s—."
Elsewhere in her sit-down with Rogan, Cyrus discussed how hard it was to go through a public divorce. She said it was easier for her to accept that she and Hemsworth just fell out of love, but she could not "accept" the constant reports about her break-up. "I can't accept the villainizing, and just all those stories," she said. "It's amazing that the public kind of thinks there's no gap of time they didn't see that could possibly be what led to this."