The Kids' Choice Awards (KCA) has been Nickelodeon's biggest event since 1988. An award show for kids by kids with their favorite stars having the chance to win a classic Nickelodeon orange blimp and maybe even get slimed in the process.
It was no surprise that JoJo Siwa was up for an award as she’s been one of the network’s biggest stars since 2017. The shock was the fact that the superstar was not invited to the award show.
The ceremony was held on April 9, and fans were confused about why she wasn’t on the orange carpet or performing. Siwa posted a video on Instagram that same day as the show saying, “A lot of you have been asking me why I’m not at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards tonight, and the answer is very simple: I wasn’t invited.”
Vanity Fair quoted an anonymous source who claimed that she wasn’t invited because of audience size reduction due to Covid and added, “This had nothing to do with her as a person. That is so off the mark and very upsetting. It was truly an unfortunate mistake, and she definitely should have been there.”
However, nobody is buying this, possibly not even Siwa. While COVID-19 is still an issue and precautions are still needed, it's just a little too strange that a nominee who happens to be one of Nickelodeon’s biggest stars in recent years was snubbed from the guest list. Fans and spectators have an idea of why, though.
Last year Siwa came out publicly as queer, and not long before the awards show, she cut her hair short. Fans quickly took to Twitter to tell Nickelodeon exactly how they felt about Siwa's absence.
“Y’all literally took the best representation and role model you could have for lgbtq+ youth and tossed her to the side for just expressing who she is. Shame on you @Nickelodeon,” wrote @noelledero.
“The only year that @itsjojosiwa didn’t get invited to the kids’ choice awards is when she comes out and cuts her hair??? Sus @Nickelodeon,” posted user @bby_briiiiiii, which Siwa later re-tweeted.
The public obviously doesn't know what goes on during the planning of the KCAs or how much communication they have with Siwa, but the timing of everything is just a little too suspicious. It's something that might be expected from other kids’ networks, but coming from Nickelodeon this is a shocker.
The channel held a special on the AIDS crisis during the '90s. Clyde, a character on "The Loud House" has two dads and all three characters have prominent roles on the show. Korra from "The Legend of Korra" and even "SpongeBob" were confirmed as part of the LGBTQ+ community in a tweet made on the channel's official Twitter page during Pride Month last year.
Nickelodeon has always been the channel to break boundaries. For them to leave out one of their biggest stars because she is no longer afraid to hide who she is just to appease some angry parents, is just upsetting.
Before Siwa came out her brand's goal was always to teach kids to be unapologetically themselves. That's why kids love her: she's vibrant and full of life. When people commented on her “childish” style she didn't ditch her bow and pink bedazzled outfits, she wore more glitter and bigger bows.
Her hit song "Boomerang" has the lyrics, “Won't let the haters get their way, I'm a come back like a boomerang,” and just like the song's namesake, Siwa will come back stronger then ever. Whether it's Nickelodeon, homophobes or “concerned” parents in her way, Siwa’s light will continue to shine and no missing invite will dim it.