MTV EMAs show in Hungary highlights support for LGBTQ

MTV EMAs show in Hungary highlights support for LGBTQ

Budapest Fireworks, elaborate costumes and aerial acrobatics dominated the night at the 2021 MTV European Music Awards in the Hungarian capital on Sunday, a celebration that was a celebration of the year’s biggest music artists and a statement of support for the gay and transgender community in the event’s host nation.

The show at Budapest’s Papp Laszlo Sportarena, which was broadcast live on MTV in 180 countries, featured performances by some of the world’s most famous artists – some of whom are LGBTQ musicians who used their time on stage to speak out against Hungary’s widespread politics. It is a restriction of LGBTQ rights.

The evening was opened by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran with the performance of his newly released song “Overpass Graffiti”. Then the host of the show, American rapper Saweetie, took to the stage riding a giant snowflake to her various songs.

Saweetie, after speaking out about the need to show “respect for the LGBTQ community,” awarded Sheeran the Best Artist Award.


Later, Sheeran’s hit single “Bad Habits”, a single from his fifth studio album released this year, took home the award for best song, and the British singer performed his song “Shivers”.

American rapper Lil Nas X took home the Best Video award for “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”, a video the artist shared with Ukrainian music video director Tanu Muino. The rapper accepted the award via a video message.

The win for Lil Nas X, who came out as gay in 2019, highlighted the rift in values ​​between the MTV EMAs and the right-wing government in Hungary, which faced a backlash over the summer when it passed a law banning promotion or filming. The homosexuality of minors.

When announcing in October that the awards show would take place in Budapest, MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide President and CEO Chris McCarthy said the ceremony would be an opportunity to take a stand for gay and transgender civil rights worldwide in the central European country. that moved to reduce it.


“We look forward to using the event to amplify our voices and solidarity with our gay brothers,” McCarthy said in an interview with The Associated Press, adding that no censorship of television broadcasts would be tolerated.

Another expression of this solidarity came through the debut of German musician Kim Petras, the first transgender artist in awards history to perform on the show.

Earlier this month, Petras expressed her support for MTV’s decision to hold the awards in Hungary, which she said she hopes will inspire the local LGBTQ community to “not give themselves up.”

“I’m transgender and I perform at EMAs,” Petras said. “It will be very powerful to be in Hungary and do the show when these laws are just in place.”

In an interview with The Associated Press from the red carpet on Sunday, Petras said, “Censorship of any kind of love is bad. It’s not good. No one should feel, you know, unrepresented in the media. No one should feel that they are not It’s okay to be what they are.”


She also participated in the EMAs concert Norwegian indie pop girl in red, with her single “Serotonin”. English singer-songwriter Griff made the first performance of her song “One Night”, while the night before, American pop rock band One Republic performed at the MTV World Stage at Heroes Square in Budapest.

Italian band and debut EMA artists Maneskin took home the award for best rock, as they took to the stage amid flying sparks and a giant neon sign bearing the name of their song “MAMMAMIA”.

South Korean pop group BTS took home the most awards with four – Best Pop, Best K-pop, Best Band, and Biggest Fan – while host and performer Saweetie won in the “Best New” category.

English multi-instrumentalist and singer YUNGBLUD took home the award for best alternative, who ended the night with his latest single, “fleabag”. Pillars of fire erupted during the performance, and all that was left were smashed guitars and upturned speakers as soon as YUNGBLUD left the stage.


During the show, the EMA honored the winners of the “Generation Change Award,” a new category that honors five activists who campaign against anti-LGBTQ policies around the world.

Actress and talk show host Drew Barrymore honored the winners with a video message, saying they’re doing incredible things for the LGBTQ+ community.

“I am proud to help raise the voices of these young people. They are all very demanding to love who they want and to love who they are,” Barrymore said.

The winners are LGBT activists from Iraq, Nigeria, Brazil, the United States and Hungary. The Change Generation Award was personally accepted by Hungarian activist Victoria Radvani, an organization in Budapest Pride.

Radvani dedicated the award to Hungary’s gay community and urged them to “go out and vote together” in the Hungarian elections scheduled for April, as Hungary’s right-wing ruling party faces its most serious challenge since taking power in 2010.


“Never accept the idea that you must tolerate violence and discrimination,” Radvani said. “Every human is born equal… Let’s not let them force us back into the closet.”

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