Some are describing it as "odd," "bad," even "offensive." The Independent's headline reads, "It would have been less insulting to do nothing."
And Twitter users seemed to agree. One user reacted to the lack of transition, tweeting — "Did someone push the 'Robin Williams tribute' button by mistake?" And another in response to the lack of a presenter — "The tribute ... was pathetic. ... No words, no speech, nothing!"
However, there might have been a larger purpose behind such a set-up. As a Hollywood Life writer points out, "Sometimes, there are no words to describe a loss of this magnitude."
But it's important to note it's unusual for this awards show to air tributes at all. As ABC says, the VMAs don't typically include tributes to late celebrities, especially non-musicians.
The last VMA tributes for late celebs were in 2011 for singer Amy Winehouse, complete with a monologue from comedian Russell Brand. And a lengthier tribute for Michael Jackson in 2009 included a performance by Janet Jackson.
There's expected to be a number of other tributes to Robin Williams at upcoming awards shows— honoring both his successful career and life.
This video contains images from Getty Images.