Toffler: “There’s no way any of us could have predicted that — we didn’t orchestrate it. He came with a bottle of alcohol, so he was in a festive mood to begin with. But we all were in shock in the truck when he walked up on stage and took the mic from Taylor. I remember turning to one of the producers and going, ‘Do we not have security?’ we don’t put those big bulky guys on camera in front of the talent. Maybe this guy thought Kanye belonged on the stage.
I said to our line producer, ‘You need to go talk to Kanye and probably have him exit the building, and I will go deal with Taylor.’ And she was about to perform right after that break! She was a champ. I would be lying if I said she and her mom weren’t crying when I saw them, but she pulled it together. This was one of the most absurd VMA moments for me, having to talk to her and her mom, and they’re crying and upset, and this was her first time on the VMAs, and she had been used to working on country shows with polite artists. This was a little bit more chaotic than she was used to. And then I walked back behind the stage to find Beyoncé crying about the incident. Ultimately I talked to her and her dad and then went back to Taylor after her performance, and an hour later Beyoncé brought Taylor back out so she could have her moment.
Beyoncé’s Pregnant Pause (2011)
“I remember Beyoncé showed up to rehearsal, and she was wearing really loose clothing. We like to know the wardrobe choices that our artists are making — we’ve learned the hard way sometimes. I remember asking her manager about it, and she said, ‘Don’t worry, she’ll show you the day of.’
She said to our director that she didn’t want to have a cutaway. She said, ‘Take a close-up of me at the end of the song. No audience applauding shot—I want you tight on me.’ That is what we knew. And then on the red carpet, she had kind of indicated what was going on. It wasn’t until an hour before the show that we figured it out, and the rest of the world figured it out. Most of the artists didn’t know, and we got that great of Kanye after the reveal with Jay.”