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Måneskin, Kim Petras and Maluma to perform at MTV EMAs

This year's event will also “stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary and around the world"

By Hollie Geraghty

Maneskin perform live in London
Maneskin perform live at London's O2 Academy Islington (Picture: Paul Harries)

Måneskin, Kim Petras and Maluma have been confirmed as the first acts set to perform at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs).

Italian Eurovision rockers Måneskin will make their EMAs debut in Budapest, and are also nominated for Best Rock and Best Group.

German-born LA based electro pop singer Kim Petras will take to the EMAs stage for the first time, while global Latin sensation Maluma returns for a second time, also nominated for Best Latin and Best LatAm-Central act.

The 2021 MTV EMAs will take place at the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna in Hungary on November 14, with further acts and presenters to be announced.

This year’s event will be used to counter Hungary’s controversial anti-gay law and “stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary and around the world,” according to Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide in an internal memo, reported by The Hollywood Reporter. 

McCarthy also added in the memo that the decision “may surprise anyone who knows that in June of this year Hungary passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, brought forward by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling party, banning television content featuring gay people during the day and in primetime, only allowing it to run in the overnights.”

As MTV forms part of ViacomCBS, he continued: “ViacomCBS, along with others like Google and Lego, banded together to publicly oppose this law stating it would increase discrimination and harassment against LGBTQ+ people.” 

He continued: “I have to be honest with you, as a gay man, my personal emotions got the better of me. After learning this legislation passed, my knee jerk reaction was that we should move the event to another country. However, after my emotions cooled down, I picked up the phone to connect with global LGBTQ+ advocates like All Out, got feedback from LGBTQ+ advocates in Hungary, spoke with…other team members from around the world and consulted our LGBTQ+ employee resource group, Emerge.”

He explained the decision to not move the event but instead 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.”