The MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) have been called off due to the “devastating events in Israel and Gaza,” according to organisers Paramount. The cancellation was described as a precautionary measure, as the ongoing volatility of the situation prompted the decision.
Initially scheduled to be held in Paris on November 5th, the event was eagerly anticipated by fans and artists. Performers were set to include BTS’s Jung Kook and former Little Mix star Leigh-Anne. The nominees for the best artist category featured notable names like Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, Taylor Swift, and Nicki Minaj.
The MTV EMAs are traditionally viewed as a global celebration of music, but the unfolding events in Israel and Gaza created an atmosphere that did not seem suitable for such festivities. The Paramount statement said, “As events in Israel and Gaza continue to unfold, this does not feel like a moment for a global celebration.” The current situation, marked by a significant loss of life, is indeed one of mourning.
Paramount cited the uncertainty and volatility of global events as the primary reason for not moving forward with the 2023 MTV EMAs. The cancellation aimed to prioritise the safety and well-being of the many individuals involved, including thousands of employees, crew members, artists, fans, and partners who contribute to bringing the event to life.
The conflict in the region escalated dramatically on October 7th, with an unprecedented attack by Hamas, an organization classified as a terrorist group by numerous governments, including the US and the UK. The attack on Israel resulted in a significant loss of life, with approximately 1,400 casualties and over 200 people taken hostage. Israel responded with retaliatory airstrikes, leading to a reported 3,700 deaths in Gaza, as stated by Palestinian health officials.
Paramount intends to reschedule the MTV EMAs for November 2024. This marks a notable disruption to the annual tradition of celebrating global music, as the EMAs have been an ongoing event since 1994, when they were first hosted in Berlin, Germany.