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MTV to counter Hungary’s anti-gay laws
 20 Oct 2021
The MTV Europe Music Awards will be held November 14 in Hungary, the network said Tuesday, reaffirming and defending the location despite the country’s recent passage of legislation widely condemned as anti-LGBTQ, The Associated Press reports.

The ceremony is an opportunity to make a stand for gay and trans civil rights worldwide in the central European nation that has moved to curtail them, said Chris McCarthy, President and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide. “We’re looking forward to using the event to amplify our voices and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ siblings,” McCarthy said in an interview with The Associated Press.

No government censorship of the telecast will be tolerated, McCarthy said. “We've made it very clear and we have from the beginning.... we do not allow editorial input as it relates to the artists” and the content we create, he said. "That's always a condition regardless of whatever country we go into.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s conservative ruling party introduced the measure that on its face was aimed at fighting pedophilia. Amendments ban the representation of any orientation besides heterosexual, along with gender change information in school sex education programs, or in films and advertisements aimed at anyone under 18. Human rights groups strongly denounced the measure passed in June, saying it wrongly links gays with pedophilia and is intended as a tool that could be used to stigmatize and harass residents because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. A majority of European Union leaders said it goes against the EU’s values and that discrimination must not be tolerated in the 27-nation bloc.

In 2020, Hungarian lawmakers approved legislation banning the legal recognition of transgender citizens. MTV, which made a deal two years ago to hold the show in the nation's capital, Budapest, planned to issue a lengthy memo to staffers in apparent anticipation of possible criticism of its decision.

“This may surprise anyone who knows that in June of this year, Hungary passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation banning television content featuring gay people during the day and in primetime,” allowing it only to run overnight, McCarthy said in the memo.

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