All the Ways Celebrities Showed Solidarity For the LGBTQ+ Community at the MTV EMAs

Despite Hungary passing a law in June that bans content deemed to be "promoting homosexuality or gender change" from being shown on primetime TV, the performers and attendees at the MTV EMAs found many ways to show solidarity and support for the community. Over the past two years, the country has introduced a number of new legislations that target the rights of LGBTQ+ people, and because of that, MTV and the award show's attendees decided to take a stand.

The destination of the awards was chosen years ago, before a number of these new laws were passed. That's why it was so important for Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide, who identifies as a gay man, to show his support. "After learning this legislation passed, my knee-jerk reaction was that we should move the event to another country," he said. However, Chris got advice from LGBTQ+ advocates in Hungary and the company's LGBTQ+ employee resource group and decided otherwise. "The decision was very clear to all of us. We should not move the event. Instead, we should move forward, using 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."

Read all of the ways celebrities and attendees at the 2021 MTV EMAs have shown their support for the LGBTQ+ community.


Yungblud promoted visibility for the LGBTQ+ community with his acceptance speech for best alternative. "This is an award in tribute to individualism. This is an award for the 13-year-old boy from the North of England who was absolutely terrified to be who he was," he said. "I would like to look down that lens right now and say if you are out there and you feel like you cannot be who you are, you can be. Keep fighting, keep being brilliant. Your imagination and your individuality is the best thing you can have."


Saweetie made a point during her epic performance at the MTV EMAs to show the importance of equality and support. "We need to make sure that we respect each other. That's why it is so important that we stand up for the LGBTQ+ community and everybody pushing for equality," she said.

Riccardo Simonetti
Getty | Daniele Venturelli

Riccardo Simonetti

German entertainer and activist Riccardo Simonetti, who is also the LGBTQ+ goodwill ambassador for the EU Parliament, wore a powerful look for the MTV EMAs red carpet. He wore the names of 12 queer people who were killed in the last year. "I hope by writing their names on my face tonight it will help to make people realize how deadly homophobia/transphobia is and how urgent the call is for a change," he wrote on Instagram, urging followers to read about their lives and stories.

Viktória Radványi
Getty | Tristan Fewings

Viktória Radványi

Hungarian LGBTQ+ activist Viktória Radványi won the 2021 generation change award, which aims to recognize "fearless, original young people who are tackling the world's toughest problems through music, storytelling or digital media." The award was presented by Drew Barrymore, who said, "I am proud to elevate these young voices; they are all bravely asking for the simple right to love who they want and to love who they are."

"My dearest Hungarian LGBTQ siblings, this award goes to all of you," Viktória opened her acceptance speech. "We must make our voices heard. Let's take care of each other, let's self-organize, and let's get out and vote together. Please, please never accept the notion that you should tolerate violence and discrimination. Every single human being is born equal, period. Let's show those who want to deny our rights and want to take away our freedom, that our community is strong, united, and determined," she said.

Jade Thirlwall

Jade Thirlwall's display of allyship for the community was subtle but important. During her acceptance speech for best UK and Ireland act on behalf of Little Mix, Thirlwall wore a "Gay Pride" jumper.