The ceremony was criticized for being more of a popularity contest than award show. For instance, Twilight won five awards, and High School Musical 3: Senior Year won two awards, and was nominated for Best Movie. Some fans, displeased with the results, have called for a restructuring of the voting system, hoping to combat the disproportionate amount of Twilight supporters who had a much greater online presence before the movie was even released. Also there was criticism for The Climb winning Best Song from a Movie which became a category again for the first time since the 1999 MTV Movie Awards, and was not used since the 2009 MTV Movie Awards.
Brüno, a flamboyantgay character played by Sacha Baron Cohen, staged a stunt with longtime friend Eminem in which he was "flying" overhead in the theatre toward the stage to present the award for Best Male Performance. Baron Cohen was dressed as an angel, and he was wearing only a jockstrap underneath his costume. In mid-flight, he was lowered upside-down from the rafters after an apparent problem with his wire harness. This caused him to land directly on top of Eminem in such a way that Baron Cohen's fully exposed buttocks area was positioned directly in Eminem's face. An apparently incensed Eminem angrily shouted "You serious?" and "Are you f**kin' serious?!" and then "Get this motherf**ker off me!", demanded that his bodyguards and members of D12 remove Baron Cohen from atop him, and left the theatre immediately. It was later found out that the pair had staged the stunt and had practiced. Eminem jokingly said "We've got everyone believing that it mistakenly happened. I laughed for about 3 hours after the show". Baron Cohen then announced the award winner (Best Male Actor, Zac Efron - High School Musical 3: Senior Year) while still hanging from harness wires above the audience. It has since been revealed that the entire incident was a pre-arranged stunt of which Eminem was aware. The show’s head writer Scott Aukerman, who was hired by host Andy Samberg, said: "Yes, the Bruno/Eminem incident was staged. That's all anyone wants to talk about, so let's get it out of the way. They rehearsed it at dress and yes, it went as far as it did on the live show then." Eminem would later say that he agreed to be part of the stunt since he is a big fan of Baron Cohen, and that after he "stormed" out of the theatre he admitted that he went back to his hotel room and "laughed uncontrollably for about three hours". Various reports said Baron Cohen was fully clothed during the rehearsal and Eminem did not expect him to wear a jock strap during the broadcast.
While delivering her acceptance speech for the Best Female Performance award, Kristen Stewart outstretched her arm and accidentally dropped her golden popcorn trophy, breaking a piece of it off. Stewart quickly ended her speech with "So, I was just about as awkward as you thought I was gonna be. Bye!", much to the amusement of the audience. This was amusing since her character Bella is known for being ditzy and otherwise unreliable.