Some viewers of the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday night took to social media to vent about the opening monologue, saying one controversial joke crossed the line.
Musician and actor Jamie Foxx hosted the second annual awards show in Los Angeles.
“We got some ground-breaking performances, here too, tonight,” Foxx said. “We got Bruce Jenner, who will be doing some musical performances. He’s doing a his-and-her duet all by himself.”
There have been reports that Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist, plans to transition from male to female. However, Jenner has not spoken publicly about any such possibility.
Many television viewers took to social media to voice outrage. The hashtag #iHeartRadioMusicAwards rocketed to become a top trend.
Foxx’s curtain-raiser act also took unorthodox potshots at a copyright infringement legal battle and the health of a famous 1990s record executive.
Those jokes found more acceptance than the Jenner quip.
“Marvin Gaye had the number one song, featuring Pharrell (Williams) and Robin Thicke,” Foxx said, setting up for his punch line:
“Marvin Gaye just made $7.4 million just last week. He’s making beats in heaven. It’s crazy,” he joked. “He might be dead, but he ain’t dead broke.”
Gaye’s children battled with Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke over their hit “Blurred Lines,” which jurors decided was a knockoff of Gaye’s soul classic “Got to Give It Up.”
The performers were ordered to pay millions for copyright damages and infringement.
The crowd laughed as attention turned to founder of Death Row Records Marion “Suge” Knight, who has been arrested and charged with murder.
“He will not be here tonight,” Foxx said of Knight. “He founded Tha Dogg Pound, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, and now he needs a seeing eye dog.”
Knight collapsed in court recently, as a result of ongoing health issues, after a judge set his bail at $25 million in the murder case. He hit his head during the fall, knocking himself out.
The crowd had laughed at those previous jokes but clammed up when Foxx turned his attention to Jenner.