[UPDATE, Aug. 27] Though Miley's performance still remains at the forefront of what we're discussing here in post-VMAs backlash land, MTV did want to clarify something else:
The network says the Smith family was actually watching Lady Gaga's performance when the viral screen grab (see below) was captured.
"We're really not sure how the whole Miley rumor started — and that's not to say there weren't plenty of folks both inside the Barclays Center and at home who weren't shocked by her onstage efforts."
We, along with with other reputable news organizations, were duped by an image that was attributed to the wrong act. Here's an actual screen grab of the Smith family reacting during Miley's performance, not Gaga's.
They actually looked bored. The still photo taken below, of Willow's mouth open in astonishment, was actually taken at a moment when she was mid-chew. The network released audience footage of the family watching Gaga's performance. Read the original report, below:
Well it seems as if we weren't the only ones completely dumbfounded by Miley Cyrus' performance at Sunday evening's Video Music Awards.
The pop star twerked, she gyrated, slapped a butt, and uncomfortably paraded around teddy bears during her risque number alongside Robin Thicke, even using a foam hand as a sexual prop - all while wearing a plastic bikini. Oh, and she sang, too.
So imagine our faces as we watched Mileybird's "embarrassingly raunchy" performance from the comfort of our own homes - then amplify that times a thousand for the celebrities seated in the Barclays Center.
Thankfully, MTV graciously panned to the audience to gauge and capture their reactions. Singlehandedly, the best GIF to come out of the Can't Stop/Blurred Lines mashup was this gem of a shot of Will Smith and children, Willow and Jaden. Oh. My. Gawd.
Photo: Twitter / @official_VMAs
Twitter said early Monday that Cyrus' jaw-dropping performance topped Justin Timberlake's 2.9 million mentions with 4.5 million tweets.