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Brzezinski: Miley Cyrus VMA performance 'really, really disturbing'

Updated, Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. 

Updated, Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. 

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski spoke out against the hyper-sexualized dance Miley Cyrus performed at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Cyrus, who starter her career as Disney star Hannah Montana, danced provocatively with singer Robin Thicke, 36, to his hit single "Blurred Lines."

"I think that was really, really disturbing. That young lady who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed, clearly has confidence issues, probably an eating disorder, and I don't think anybody should have put her on stage. That was disgusting and embarrassing…That was not attractive, that was not fun. That was not funny, that was really, really bad for anybody who's younger and impressionable and she's really messed up."

Brzezinski continued:

"The whole thing was cringe-worthy, but I also feel bad for her. She is a mess. Someone needs to take care of her. Someone needs not to put her on stage and make a complete fool of herself."

The Parents Television Council later slammed Cyrus for her performance and complained that MTV manipulated the ratings.

"MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials—while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14," the group said in a statement. 

Brzezinski continued the conversation on the TODAY show, arguing with NBC's Matt Lauer that this isn't just another sexy VMA performance.

"Oversexualized is one thing. Is it sexual to stick your face in the face of a life-size teddy bear and stick your tongue out? We're talking about raunch, we're not talking about sexualization," she argued.

Cyrus responded in her own way, tweeting her own version of the age-old adage 'all press is good press.'

She also pointed out a positive review by Rolling Stone's prominent pop critic Rob Sheffield.

"Miley was the one star in the room who truly understood what the MTV Video Music Awards are all about — waggling your tongue, grabbing your crotch, rocking a foam finger, going to third with the Care Bears, tweaking and shrieking, and acting out America's goriest pop-psycho nightmares," he wrote.