MTV announced plans to continue with plans to hold the MTV Europe Music Awards in Hungary on November 14th, despite the recent controversial legislation that targets LGBTQ+ rights.
The awards were planned to be held in Hungary last year, however, due to the pandemic, MTV was forced to go virtual.
Since then, the Hungarian government passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that bans TV content featuring queer people during the day and in prime-time airing to people under the age of 18.
Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide defended the networks decision, telling the Associated Press that MTV will use the event to demonstrate their solidarity with Hungary’s LGBTQ community.
“We’re looking forward to using the event to amplify our voices and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ siblings,” McCarthy told the Associated Press.
He later went on to say that MTV would not allow censorship of artists at the event.
“We’ve made it very clear and we have from the beginning…. we do not allow editorial input as it relates to the artists,” McCarthy told the AP. “That’s always a condition regardless of whatever country we go into.”
The new legislation, went into effect in July, and is meant to protect children from sexual predators. But opponents of the law claims that it links the LGBTQ+ community with pedophilia.
Additionally, it prohibits “homosexual and transexual propaganda” to minors, effectively erasing the LGBTQ+ community from participating in health education in schools or other aspect of public life.
It also led to a change to the nation’s constitution and altered the definition of families to exclude transgender and other LGBT individuals. It declared that in families “the mother is a woman and the father is a man.”
The changes come under Hungary’s conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Much of the European Union and the EU’s parliament have already expressed opposition for the rulings and have launched “rule of law” action that might result in Hungary losing its voting rights.
“I have to be honest with you, as a gay man, my personal emotions got the better of me,” said McCarthy, in an internal staff memo, explaining that the Hungary venue was set two years ago.
“After learning this legislation passed, my knee-jerk reaction was that we should move the event to another country. However, after my emotions cooled down, I picked up the phone to connect with global LGBTQ+ advocates like All Out, got feedback from LGBTQ+ advocates in Hungary, spoke with Raffaele, Bruce and other team members from around the world, and consulted our LGBTQ+ employee resource group, Emerge.”
“The decision was very clear to all of us,” McCarthy wrote. “We should not move the event. Instead, we should move forward, using the show as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary and around the world as we continue to fight for equality for all.”
Recently, it was announced that Italian band and 2021 Eurovision Song Contest winner, Måneskin will have a set. Additionally, Latin superstar Maluma and German singer Kim Petras are set to perform on the show, which will air live from Hungary at 3 p.m. ET across MTV’s various channels.
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