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Budapest EMAs to show solidarity with LGBTQ+ community, MTV says

MTV plans to hold its Europe Music Awards in Budapest next month, it said on Tuesday, to show solidarity with Hungary’s LGBTQ+ community under a June law banning the “display and promotion of homosexuality” among 18-year-olds.

In a memo to staff, Chris McCarthy, president and chief executive of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide, said the decision could “surprise” those familiar with the law, which human rights groups and the European Union have criticized.

“The decision was very clear for all of us. We shouldn’t postpone the event,” McCarthy said.

“Instead, we should move forward and use 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.”

In June, hungary’s parliament passed a law banning the distribution of content in schools designed to promote homosexuality and gender change, and which has been heavily criticized by human rights groups and opposition parties.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the law is aimed at protecting children, while EU leaders say the reforms discriminate against gays and transgender people and violate EU values.

Broadcasters have said the law poses a threat to freedom of expression and could affect the screening of the family’s favorite movies and shows such as “Harry Potter” and “Modern Family,” which include gay characters.

“I have to be honest with you, as a gay man my personal emotions brought me. After learning that this legislation had been passed, my knee-jerk reaction was that we should move the event to another country,” McCarthy said, adding that he later consulted with LGBTQ+ advocates.

MTV, the part of ViacomCBS (VIAC. O), said on Tuesday that the EMAs 2021 would take place on November 14 at the indoor arena Papp Laszlo Budapest Sports Arena, with “a global celebration of music for all spectators around the world”.

The annual awards ceremony, which takes place in a different location each year, returns as a personal event after a virtual edition last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nominees and hosts have yet to be announced.

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