Awards shows on MTV have often offered celebrities big stages for bad behavior. (We could start with Miley Cyrus and work backwards from there.) But perhaps the biggest story at this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards is something Monty Python might have introduced with the disclaimer, “And now for something completely different.”
Jurassic World star Chris Pratt was given this year’s Generation Award. Pratt has frequently talked about his faith and beliefs via social media, and he didn’t shy away from those subjects here, either. Pratt offered what he dubbed his “Nine Rules.” One rule suggested best practices for going to the bathroom discreetly at parties. But several of the others delivered significant spiritual counsel. Rule 2: “You have a soul. Be careful with it.” Rule 6: “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do,” he said.
Pratt’s final rule had to do with how we see ourselves, and it included an allusion to Christ’s death on the cross: “Nobody is perfect. People will tell you that you are perfect just the way that you are, you are not! You are imperfect. You always will be, but there is a powerful force that designed you that way, and if you are willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. Like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood. Do not forget that. Don’t take that for granted.”
Other notable moments in the telecast included Riverdale‘s stars praising the award show’s much-ballyhooed genderless categories; a same-sex kiss from Love, Simon winning the Best Kiss category; and actor Michael B. Jordan, who won the Best Villain award for his role in Black Panther, joking, “I thought for sure Roseanne [Barr] had that in the bag.”
For the second year in a row, 14-year-old Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown won the award for Best Performance in a Show. She couldn’t attend due to a broken kneecap (ouch!), but she sent a video message alluding to the fact that she recently abandoned Twitter due to homophobic slurs being posted there. In her acceptance speech, she said, “Since I know there are many young people watching this—and even to the adults too—they could probably use the reminder that I was taught if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it. There should be no space in this world for bullying, and I’m not going to tolerate it and neither should any of you. If you need a reminder of how worthy you are and to rise above the hate, message me on Instagram.”
Brown seems to be taking those social media attacks in stride. But new research shows that may not be the case for many young adults. Yahoo! reporter Cheryl Platzman Weinstock summarized the study’s chief findings: “For young adults, the adverse effect of negative social media experiences on mental health outweigh any potential benefits of positive experiences, a study of university students suggests. Each 10% increase in a student’s negative experiences on social media was associated with a 20% increase in the odds of depressive symptoms, researchers found.” In other research news this week, NBC reports, “Fewer teens having sex, doing drugs, but more are depressed,” according to federal health officials.
Speaking of mental health, the World Health Organization has officially classified video game addiction as a mental health disorder. But some experts—such as Christopher Ferguson, a psychologist and media researcher at Stetson University—remain skeptical of the scientific basis for the new category. “There was a fairly widespread concern that this is a diagnosis that doesn’t really have a very solid research foundation,” Ferguson told USA Today. Similarly, the American Psychiatric Association has said that there is not “sufficient evidence” to define video game addiction as a “unique mental disorder,” USA Today also reported.
In the music world this week, up-and-coming rapper XXXTentacion (real name: Jahseh Onfroy) was shot and killed in Deerfield Beach, Florida, on Monday. Chillingly, the 20-year-old musician had recently talked about dying young in a video he shared on his Instagram account: “If I’m going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least five million kids happy or they found some sort of answers or resolve in my life regardless of the negative around my name, regardless of the bad things people say to me.” And as frequently happens when a musician dies tragically and suddenly, sales of XXXtentacion’s music went through the roof, up 1,603% according to Nielsen Music.
On a brighter note, Christianity Today reports on World Cup soccer icons who are using their fame to talk about their faith in Christ. And speaking of faith, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw say that prayer and regular dates are the secret to their successful 21-year marriage.
Finally this week, if you’ve been dreaming of the perfect, personalized emoji to drop into your texts and social media posts, well, this is a good time to be alive. Competition is heating up between tech titans Apple, Google, Samsung and Snapchat, Slate reports, to provide the most awesome avatars ever for customers who are, apparently, demanding exactly such a product. Apple’s version will be called—wait for it—Memoji. And its competitors almost all sport moji-centric monikers as well, such as Bitmoji, Friendmoji, Emoji Me, Zmoji and AR Emoji.
And I emojine that’s not the end of this trend, either, but likely just the beginning.