The 2023 MTV Europe Music Awards show has been canceled due to security concerns stemming from the Hamas-Israel war. The annual event featuring live performances and attended by many artists and other celebrities was due to be held in Paris on November 5.
“Given the volatility of world events, we have decided not to move forward with the 2023 MTV EMAs 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,” the organizers wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday.
“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,” the statement read. The organizers added that the eventual winners will still receive their awards this year.
European countries have seen a wave of politically motivated violence and riots since the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants erupted this month. There have also been demonstrations by pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups.
On October 13, a teacher was stabbed to death by a former student in Paris. According to the prosecutors, the suspect shouted Islamist slogans. France has since been placed on the highest level of terrorism alert. The level of alert has also been raised in Spain.
On Monday, another Islamic radical gunned down two people in Brussels and wounded another person. On Wednesday, six French airports were briefly evacuated due to bomb threats.
On October 7, Hamas and allied Palestinian militant groups carried out a surprise attack on Israel, killing soldiers and civilians alike, including more than 200 people at an open-air music festival in the desert near Gaza. Israel responded by conducting airstrikes on Gaza. Overall, more than 1,400 Israelis and around 3,500 Palestinians have died.