- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2017

The iconic “Moon Man” handed out at MTV’s Video Music Awards will become a “Moon Person” this year.

MTV President Chris McCarthy recently met with The New York Times to discuss ways the Viacom-owned property is trying to recapture lost ratings. He said that reversing a five-year downward trajectory begins with “amplifying young people’s voices” through shows like “TRL” and embracing of gender politics.

“Why should it be a man?” Mr. McCarthy told the newspaper for an interview published Sunday. “It could be a man, it could be a woman, it could be transgender, it could be nonconformist.”

The MTV video awards gave out “Moon Man” trophies in honor of the iconic introductory clips the channel used when it defined the music-video revolution in the 1980s. The segments used footage of men walking on the moon — all 12 of whom were cisgendered males.

The MTV Movie Awards recently adopted a similar “sex-neutral” stance by abolishing separate categories for actors and actresses.

“I see that math, I see the shows we are about to green-light, I see that landscape for the next few months — we’re stable,” the executive said of programming changes. “How do I know that? I could be wrong, but I haven’t missed an estimate in the 12 years I’ve been doing TV.”

In addition to relaunching “TRL,” which helped launch Carson Daly’s career, MTV is upping its news coverage and focusing on reality-based shows.

“We put young people on the screen, and we let the world hear their voices. We shouldn’t be writing 6,000-word articles on telling people how to feel,” Mr. McCarthy said.

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