Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Henderson said SZA decided to skip the event after the VMAs failed to nominate her for the artist of the year category.
“Obviously, she had one of the best years, if not the best year, of any artist at this point. I don’t see why she wouldn’t be nominated for artist of the year. It just really didn’t make any sense to me. It’s disrespectful,” Henderson told the outlet.
When SZA’s “Shirt” won in the best R&B category, the artist was nowhere to be found. The 33-year-old also decided that she would not perform at the ceremony.
“I figured, why go perform and do this if she’s not going to be respected to the highest level? So, it was my call to actually pull out of the performance,” Henderson said.
According to Henderson, MTV didn’t give any explanation for their reason for snubbing SZA from the artist of the year category.
The network “couldn’t give a clear answer as to why she wasn’t [nominated for artist of the year]. It was just, ‘Well, she’s nominated for all these other [awards],'” he said.
“Because there were people on [the call] about logistics for the show who didn’t have anything to do with [the nominations],” he continued, “they ended up saying, ‘OK, well we could do another call.'”
SZA’s SOS album spent 10 weeks on Billboard’s 200 albums chart. “Snooze,” another one of SZA’s hit tracks, has remained on top of the R&B charts for eight weeks and counting. She has earned 15 Grammy nominations in her career, winning best pop/duo group performance for “Kiss Me More,” a collaboration with Doja Cat.