The 2020 American Music Awards are facing backlash after the annual awards show failed to pay tribute to a music legend. During Sunday night's event, legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who died in October, was not celebrated, prompting a profanity-laced rant from radio personality Eddie Trunk.
In a lengthy social media post shared to both Twitter and Instagram, Trunk took aim at the AMAs' treatment of the rock genre, calling the awards show an "embarrassing disgrace." Trunk took particular issue with the nominees in the Pop/Rock categories, which included Post Malone, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, BTS, Jonas Brothers, and Maroon 5. He also blasted the AMAs for having "made ZERO acknowledgement of the death of an actual American music icon," referring to Van Halen, a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer who is widely considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time.
"I guess the sight of an actual artist with more than a flash in the pan flavor of the month track record, that actually writes his own music, that didn't blatantly lip sync (like every artist you celebrated tonight) would be too jarring to you?!" he wrote. "I know, I shouldn't care. But I do. Because it's so f–ing offensive to see rock music treated like this on a major TV broadcast"
Writing that he was thankful for DVR, as it allowed him to fast-forward "through this 3 hours of nonsense in 5 minutes," Trunk acknowledged that he is "not in the demo" and that awards show is not "targeted toward me." He suggested that the AMAs "change the name of the show and categories and stop pretending rock has a seat at the table." He said that it was "sickening and pathetic beyond words" that the show "managed to literally celebrate the same music in every category regardless of what the category was labeled." Again shifting his focus to the lack of a celebration of Van Halen's life and career, he wrote that while he didn't mind that the show opted out of a traditional "In Memoriam" segment, he took issue with the fact that the AMAs didn't "even acknowledge" the late musician.
"Oh and on the day you completely ignored once again an entire genre, seemingly deeming it an irrelevant footnote, [AC/DC] has the number one album in the country," he concluded. "Maybe if they lip sync, play to tracks, and get some auto tune going they can have a seat next year? PATHETIC!"