Steve Chmelar, the creator of the foam finger, is the latest to call out Miley Cyrus' dance at the MTV Video Music Awards. The "We Can't Stop" singer partied with giant teddy bears and then grinded and twerked around Robin Thicke for a duet on "Blurred Lines." She did all of this while holding a giant foam finger that she often put between the legs.
"I would say that it certainly misrepresented its intent to encourage team support," Chmelar told Fox Sports. "She took an honorable icon that is seen in sporting venues everywhere and degraded it. Fortunately, the foam finger has been around long enough that it will survive this incident. As for Miley Cyrus, let's hope she can outlive this event and also survive."
Steve Chmelar admitted that he did not watch the Miley Cyrus VMA performance live, but, like many of us, he saw it online afterwards. A relative first told him about the foam-finger dance on Facebook.
"For people that like that kind of entertainment, I'm sure that it met their needs," Chmelar said. "If I had a choice between Julie Andrews singing 'The Sound of Music' and Miley Cyrus doing 'Can't Stop,' I'd go the Julie Andrews route, but everyone has their choice and their decision."
Steve Chmelar first created the finger in his parents' garage at the age of 16. He used it just twice, at the Iowa state basketball semifinals and finals, where he supported his high school team. A photographer from Associated Press captured a picture of the teen at the game, and others soon copied his foam invention. But Geral Fauss was the first to actually sell the fingers, which he did at the 1978 Cotton Bowl.
"I wish I could feel the responsibility weighing down my pockets; I've not gained a dime from any royalties or anything like that," Chmelar said. "But it's just a matter of satisfaction. It was fun to do it and create it, and it's certainly rewarding to see what it's become and the variations of it."
Steve Chmelar is one of many people who have commented on the Miley Cyrus twerking controversy. Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC has been one of the most vocal critics, even calling for MTV employees to be fired after allowing the "Blurred Lines" performance to air.
"I thought that was really, really disturbing," Brzezinski said on Morning Joe. "That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed, clearly has confidence issues, probably has an eating disorder. And I don't think anybody should've put her up on stage. That was disgusting and embarrassing."
Others, meanwhile, have been more supportive. Perhaps surprisingly, Robin Thicke's father, Alan Thicke, defended Miley Cyrus' performance. The Growing Pains actor noted that such sexualized dancing is typical of the VMAs.
"Anyone expecting the VMAs to have Growing Pains sensibilities does not watch videos and should be familiar with content before watching with children," Alan Thicke tweeted. "Don't complain, supervise!"
Watch video of Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs below!