Unlike the Oscars and the Grammys, the iHeartRadio Music Awards mostly stuck to entertainment - with the exception of two not-so-thinly-veiled hits at Donald Trump from two of the music industry’s biggest stars.
The first was from Justin Timberlake, who was presenting the award for Best Tour to Taylor Swift. He said, “Some people are out here to build walls…” obviously implying Donald Trump, but still clarifying to the audience, “That was a political joke.” When the joke fell flat, he admonished the teenybopper crowd, “You can’t even vote.”
Then came Bono, who accepted the 2016 Innovator Award on behalf of U2. He said, “Strange to say that there are places around the world where making music is a crime... Where you can get a punch in the face for disagreeing with some politician somewhere. That could never happen here, could it?” Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, he’s talking about Trump saying he wanted to punch a protestor in the face and the Trump rally where a protestor actually got punched. Therefore America is turning into North Korea where making music is illegal.
Justin Timberlake: Some people are out here to build walls. We ain't naming no names. But as an artist -- that was a political joke -- shut up. You can't even vote. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Taylor chooses to knockdown walls and invite everyone to be on her #squad.
Bono: Strange to say that there are places around the world where making music is a crime. Where you can go to jail for expressing an opinion. Where you can get a punch in the face for disagreeing with some politician somewhere. That could never happen here, could it?
Funny how neither artist was man enough to bring themselves actually to say Trump’s name. What does that tell you?