The idea made total sense:
We pitched the bit to Rogen and Franco, who couldn't quite believe MTV was going to let them fire up a spliff on live TV, and they were immediately onboard. Then the suits at Standards & Practices got pungent wind of the plan.
"I had gone up to Standards and begged them to at least let [Rogen] pull it out but not light it, and they said they'd be fine with that," said Robin Reinhardt-Locke, an MTV celebrity talent executive.
Unfortunately, Rogen never heard that the script had been changed until he arrived backstage at the show. "He goes, 'Well, I'm gonna smoke weed on stage,' " head writer Jordan Rubin recalled. "And I'm on the headphones like, 'He said he's gonna smoke weed onstage.' And I'm hearing from the truck, 'Well, tell him we're cutting to black.' I'm like, 'They said they're cutting to black.' And he's like, 'Then cut to black.' "
Out onstage, Rogen and Franco told the crowd they'd never smoked pot before and that they smoked fake stuff on the "Pineapple" set. Rogen then whipped out a fat plastic bag. "It was like this big huge bag of weed right here — this is not weed," he said, reaching over to light a joint for Franco, at which point the camera cut away to a wide shot of the stage.
Viewers could then only hear, not see, what was taking place. "We're not really smoking a big fatty joint from this giant bag of fake weed live on television right this second," Rogen said, coughing into the mic. "To this day, I have no idea if that was real marijuana or it wasn't," executive producer Mark Burnett said. "I have no clue what it was. It doesn't matter. ... [It was] another very funny MTV Movie Awards pop-culture moment."
Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year's ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It's up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
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