London: Next month's MTV Europe Music Awards in Paris have been cancelled, organisers said on Thursday, citing "the volatility of world events" amid the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.
The awards ceremony, scheduled to be broadcast live and at which the likes of Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Bad Bunny and the Foo Fighters were among nominees, was due to be held on Nov. 5 at Paris Nord Villepinte.
"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," a spokesperson said in a statement.
"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. We look forward to hosting the MTV EMAs again in November of 2024." Israel has responded to the deadliest attack in its 75-year history by vowing to annihilate Hamas, putting the entire Gaza Strip's 2.3 million people under a total siege, and bombarding the enclave in strikes that have killed thousands and made more than a million homeless.
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France is on its highest state of alert after the Oct. 13 murder of a schoolteacher in a suspected Islamist attack.
On Wednesday, eight French airports faced security alerts and several were evacuated for checks, the DGAC aviation authority said, and the Palace of Versailles closed again due to its third security scare in five days.
The annual MTV Europe Music Awards are held in a different city each year. Last year's event was in Duesseldorf in western Germany.
Swift had led this year's nominations with seven nods, including for best artist, best song and best video for her hit "Anti-Hero".
Other nominees included Jung Kook, a member of K-pop stars BTS, who was also due to perform at the event.
The awards show was last held in Paris in 1995.