MTV To Counter Hungarian Anti-Gay Legislation With EMAs, CEO Chris McCarthy Sends Powerful Note To “Stand In Solidarity”


MTV’s Europe Music Awards (EMA) will go ahead in Hungary this year in a bid to counter the country’s new stringent anti-gay laws, with President & CEO Chris McCarthy saying the outfit will “use the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary and around the world.”

The awards will take place in the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna in Hungary on November 14 and air globally in primetime, with hosts, nominees and performers to be announced at a later date.

They should have been hosted in Hungary last year but took place virtually due to the pandemic.

Since then, the Hungarian government has passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that bans TV content featuring gay people during the day and in primetime airing to people under the age of 18.

Fourteen EU governments condemned the new law over the summer as a “flagrant form of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.”

In a note to staff today, MTV’s McCarthy, who is gay, said his “knee jerk reaction” upon finding out about the law had been to move the event.

Having “cooled down,” he consulted with global LGTBQ+ advocates and realized MTV could “use the 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 awards will therefore recognize young LGBTQ+ activists in Hungary and around the world “on the front lines” with MTV’s Generation Change Awards in partnership with the All Out advocacy group. MTV today revealed it has expanded its partnership with All Out and will amplify the group’s campaigns throughout the year.

McCarthy’s personal note harked back to his first seeing Pedro Zamora on MTV’s Real World and the impact it had on him.

“It was the 1990s, and I’d never met another gay person before. My only lifeline was television. It gave me a direct window into a new world, one that gave me hope that I wasn’t alone.

“To all those kids at home: there is hope, and you will always have a home with us on MTV Entertainment.”


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