The MTV Europe Music Awards will be taking place in Hungary on Sunday, November 14, a controversial decision given the political climate for Hungarian LGBTQ+ people where the representation of queer lives to minors is outlawed.
The initial decision to hold the awards ceremony in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, was made before the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation came into place and the President and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide, Chris McCarthy, wanted to back out at first.
But McCarthy, who identifies as a gay man, consulted with LGBTQ+ advocates from around the world and within MTV, and this prompted him to change his mind, PinkNews reports.
✨ We're back bb! ✨ The 2021 #MTVEMA will be held LIVE from Budapest, Hungary! ?? Celebrate music for ALL with us 14th of November! ?
Stay tuned for more coming soon ? pic.twitter.com/JFFXz1Rbdh
— MTV EMA (@mtvema) October 19, 2021
“This [decision] may surprise anyone who knows that in June of this year, Hungary passed anti-LGBT+ legislation banning television content featuring gay people during the day and in primetime,” McCarthy said to his staff in a memo.
The memo continues, “we should move forward, using the show as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the LGBT+ community in Hungary and around the world as we continue to fight for equality for all.”
This year, MTV’s Generation Change Award will honour young LGBTQ+ activists, and Mccarthy hopes that this will reach and inspire queer Hungarian citizens.
“We’re looking forward to using the event to amplify our voices and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ siblings,” McCarthy said in an interview with The Associated Press.
McCarthy and MTV plan to use the platform to provide LGBTQ+ representation to young people in Hungary which would otherwise be banned.
“We’ve made it very clear and we have from the beginning… we do not allow editorial input as it relates to the artists.”
“That’s always a condition regardless of whatever country we go into,” he continued.
“The decision was very clear to all of us. 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.” @MTV ??️? https://t.co/p4k967YZlP
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 19, 2021
In June 2021, the legislation was passed in Hungary prohibiting the representation of LGBTQ+ lives to minors, a measure that was introduced under the guise of fighting paedophilia.
This legislation has faced an enormous backlash within the European Union for not only infringing on the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens in Hungary but also for conflating homosexuality with paedophilia. Many political leaders with the Union are firmly against this move by Hungary, as it contradicts EU values and promotes discrimination.
Last year, another law was passed in Hungary which bans the legal recognition of Transgender citizens.
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