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MTV Halts Europe Music Awards over Israel-Hamas War

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The MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) has called off its ceremony slated for next month, citing the Israel-Hamas war. The event which was earlier scheduled to be held on 5th November was to be held in Paris, with Thirty Seconds To Mars, BTS's Jung Kook, and Renée Rapp among the performers. “The MTV EMAs are an annual celebration of global music. As we watch the devastating events in Israel and Gaza continue to unfold, this does not feel like a moment for a global celebration. With thousands of lives already lost, it is a moment of mourning,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The statement also revealed that the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution for the thousands of employees, crew members, artists, fans, and partners who travel from all corners of the world to bring the show to life.”

MTV said the EMAs would return in November 2024. SZA, Olivia Rodrigo, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and Taylor Swift were nominated for Best Artist. The ceremony takes place in a different country every year and was held last year in Dusseldorf, Germany, hosted by Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi and singer Rita Ora.

Taylor Swift was the big winner at last year's EMAs, collecting four trophies including Best Artist, Best Video, and Best long-form video. Swift was again this year's top nominee with seven, followed by Olivia Rodrigo and SZA, who tied for second with six apiece.

France, which has large Muslim and Jewish communities, has been on high alert since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 the ensuing war in Gaza, and the killing of a teacher on Friday in France by a man claiming to act for the Islamic State extremist group.

The most serious escalation in the conflict in decades erupted on 7 October, when Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel killing 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages. At least 3,700 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched retaliatory air strikes, according to Palestinian health officials.