The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards addressed the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, by inviting a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general, to appear with the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a driver at the rally.
The Unite the Right rally, which was attended by neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members, was sparked by Charlottesville's plan to remove a Lee statue from a local park.
"As a pastor it is my duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin," Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV told the crowd to applause Sunday night, inside the Forum in Inglewood, California.
"Today I call on all of us...to confront racism and white supremacy head on," he added.
Rev. Lee introduced Susan Bro, Heyer's mother, to the audience. Heyer, 32, was struck and killed by a driver who plowed into counterprotesters.
"Only 15 days ago my daughter was killed as she protested racism," Bro said. "I miss her but I know she’s here tonight. I’ve been deeply moved to see people across the world...find inspiration in her courage."
Bro ended her speech by announcing the launch of the Heather Heyer Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers scholarships to combat hatred.
She also recognized each of the nominees in the MTV Video Music Award category, "Best Fight Against the System." John Legend, Big Sean and Alessia Cara were among the nominees.