Advocacy /

MTV Plans to Counter Anti-LGBT Laws in Hungary During European Music Awards

The events location was set two years in advance

MTV reaffirmed that its Europe Music Awards will be held in Hungary despite the nation’s widely denounced law regarding the promotion of LGBTQ issues.

According to Chris McCarthy, the president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide, the ceremony will make a stand for gay and trans civil rights worldwide and that no censorship of the broadcast will be “tolerated.”

“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 said the company does not allow editorial input regarding artists or content.

“That’s always a condition regardless of whatever country we go into,” he added.

In an internal memo to employees, McCarthy explained that Hungary had been set as the location nearly two years earlier.

“I have to be honest with you, as a gay man, my personal emotions got the better of me,” he wrote. “After learning this legislation passed, my knee-jerk reaction was that we should move the event to another country.”

He wrote that he reached out to LGBTQ+ groups including All Out and Emerge, in addition to LGBTQ+ advocates in Hungary.

“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.”

The company announced on Oct. 19 that it would join a global partnership with All Out with the 2021 MTV EMA Generation Change Award. The award will honor someone who advocates against policies considered to be anti- LGBTQ. 

“As a global organization fighting for equality around the world, we are excited to deepen our partnership with MTV Entertainment to act in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community around the world,” Matt Beard, executive director of All Out, said in a statement.

“Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s conservative ruling party introduced the measure that on its face was aimed at fighting pedophilia. Amendments ban the representation of any orientation besides heterosexual, along with gender change information in school sex education programs, or in films and advertisements aimed at anyone under 18,” per AP News.

The legislation has largely been denounced as an attack on LGBTQ people. Europeans decried the prime minister after the Union of European Football Association announced LGBTQ+ themed advertisements would not be permitted at the quarter-finals in Hungary.

MTV’s 2021 EMAs will broadcast live from Papp László Budapest Sportaréna in Hungary on Nov. 14. Artists and planned performances have not been announced.

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