MTV EMA Budapest 2021 was about standing up for the LGBTQ+ people – based on media reports. The productions, the speeches, even the words sewed on the coats were part of a grand silent demonstration for the sexual minorities.
According to 24.hu, in 2020, the gala moved to the Internet. Now it came to Budapest, to the Papp László Arena. The media suspected that the organizers would not miss the chance to protest against the government’s so-called homophobic legislation. Chris McCarthy, the chairman and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide, wanted to remove the gala from Budapest because of the new law taking effect on 5 September.
Finally, they remained and agreed with some LGBTQ+ organizations that the gala’s theme would be standing up for the sexual minorities. The government knew that, as well. Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, warned during last week’s government info that the event would be used for provocations against the administration.
24.hu said that the organizers did what they promised. The performances, the speeches, the clothes and the awards served only one purpose: a pro-LGBTQ+ standup.
British activist, marketing guru, author of The Kim Kardashian Principle, Jeetendr Sehdev, sent a message to the Hungarian prime minister from the red carpet. On the back of his red coat stood: “Orbán, love wins”. Moreover, it was not by chance that one of the performers was Kim Petras. Petras is the world’s youngest known transsexual. She completed a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) at the age of 16. She said on the red carpet that all censorship against love was bad. She added that she was very thankful towards MTV.
Other performers expressed their pro-LGBTQ feelings on stage during the evening. For example, Yungblood, kissed his guitarist after he received the best alternative artist award. Saweetie, who got the best new artist award, stood up for the LGBTQ+ communities in her speech.
The generation change awards were passed to LGBTQ+ activists. One of them was Viktória Radványi, one of the main organizers of Budapest Pride. She thanked the award to her girlfriend and offered it to the members of her movement.
As a result, media reports scarcely talked about the real contest and the winners. Ed Sheeran became the best artist of the year, and his was the best song, too (“Bad habits”). The best pop artist was BTS, while the best video was Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”. Doja Cat featuring SZA (“Kiss Me More”) won the best collaboration. Meanwhile, David Guetta became the best electronic artist, and the Måneskin band received the best rock award in Budapest. Among the Hungarian performers, Azahriah could take home the best European artist award.
Telex.hu wrote that the Hungarian Tourism Agency (MTÜ) sponsored the event, a government body promoting Hungarian tourism. In that respect, the Hungarian government organized a show during which all performers attacked the government’s anti-LGBTQ campaign. The Hungarian news outlet added that we would probably never know how much of the taxpayers’ money the MTÜ spent on the show.
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