Gomez won the award for Best Afrobeats at the event thanks to her feature on Rema’s smash summer bop, “Calm Down”. Meanwhile, Brown was nominated in the Best R&B category for his feature on Chlöe’s “How Does It Feel”, but lost to SZA’s “Shirt”.
As the nominees for Best R&B were read out, cameras on Gomez showed her scrunching her nose at the same time Brown’s name was read.
The Independent has contacted Gomez’s representative’s for comment.
Chloe Bailey has faced intense criticism from fans over her collaboration with Brown for the VMA-nominated track.
In 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend and superstar Rihanna. He has since faced several further accusations of assault by ex-girlfriends and acquaintances, which he has denied.
Brown sparked controversy at recent concerts when he was filmed holding female fans by the neck in an onstage routine.
Former Love Island contestant Natalia Zoppa joined the 33-year-old on stage at the Manchester leg of his tour and was held by the neck by Brown for a total of six seconds.
The action prompted backlash on social media, with domestic violence charity The Cassandra Centre responding to the video on Twitter
“This is so unpleasant to watch,” they wrote. “Even the fact that she’s on a stage with him doesn’t stop her obvious discomfort – as she puts her hand up to his as it encircles her throat.”
Elsewhere at the VMAs on Tuesday (12 September), Megan Thee Stallion appeared to get into an “argument” with Justin Timberlake.
Footage captured by MTV’s backstage feed shows Timberlake leaning in to say something to Megan, who responds animatedly by shaking her finger at the singer and shouting something, which cannot be heard on the stream.
A source who witnessed the exchange quickly informed Variety and several other media outlets that there was “zero fight” between the two stars.
“He said, ‘It’s so nice to meet you,’ and she said ‘No, no this don’t count, this don’t count. We gotta meet proper.’
“It was very cute,” the source said.
The Independent has contacted Megan and Timberlake’s representatives for comment.