Home Blog MTV EMAs canceled, Kehlani supports Palestinians amid Israel … – USA TODAY

MTV EMAs canceled, Kehlani supports Palestinians amid Israel … – USA TODAY

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The entertainment industry is reacting to the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, where the death toll on both sides has surpassed 5,000, with countless more wounded, since Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
Pink and Riz Ahmed posted statements on social media as the world braced for an expected Israeli military ground invasion of Gaza aimed at crushing Hamas. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, the Academy Museum Gala postponed its annual fundraiser, and a red carpet for the upcoming Sofia Coppola film “Priscilla” was canceled.
Last week, over 700 actors, comedians, musicians, and power players of the Hollywood community signed an open letter denouncing Hamas’ “barbaric acts of terrorism” in Israel and calling for the return of hostages.
Here’s how the entertainment industry has responded to the war in the Middle East.
The MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday canceled its performance-packed ceremony slated for next month, citing the Israel-Hamas War.
The event had been scheduled for Paris on Nov. 5, with Ozuna, Renée Rapp and Thirty Seconds to Mars 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 said 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.
‘Horrific’: Gal Gadot, Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian support Israel amid Palestinian conflict
Singer Kehlani posted on Instagram on Wednesday that she’d signed a letter titled “Artists Against Apartheid,” which encourages “artists and cultural workers” to “stand in solidarity with those resisting occupation and fighting for their right to self-determination.”
“As artists and cultural producers, our work has the power to shape public opinion. Today, as the media wages a war against truth and strips this conflict of its historical context, we have a unique responsibility to use our voice and artistic practices to say NO MORE!” Kehlani’s caption reads. “Now is the time to protest apartheid and amplify the just cause of the Palestinian people and their resistance against 75 years of occupation.”
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters and poet Aja Monet are also among those who signed the letter.
Oscar-winning British actor and rapper Riz Ahmed called for the end of the “indiscriminate bombing of Gaza’s civilians and vital infrastructure, the denial of food, water, and electricity, and the forced displacement of people from their homes” on his social media platforms.
“These are indefensible war crimes,” he continued. “We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the people of Gaza, now, before we all walk past the point of no return.”
The “Sound of Metal” actor also denounced the actions of Hamas, calling the attack “horrific and wrong.”
A post shared by Riz Ahmed (@rizahmed)
Pink, who is currently on the North American leg of her Summer Carnival tour, claimed in an X post that she has received “many threats” from people who mistook Poi flags displayed at her live shows for Israeli flags. The singer clarified that the flags “were used many, many years ago by the Māori people in New Zealand and because they and the Māori people are beautiful to me, we use them.”
“I have been using Poi flags since the beginning of this tour,” she said. “I do not fly flags in my show in support of anything or anyone except the rainbow flag. That will remain my position.”
She continued, “I am a human. I believe in peace. Equality. Love. I am deeply saddened by the state of the world. I pray for all of us.”
This post will be controversial for some. At this point, breathing is controversial. I am getting many threats because people mistakenly believe I am flying Israeli flags in my show. I am not. I have been using Poi flags since the beginning of this tour. These were used many,…
The war has caused reverberations in Hollywood, too.
On Oct. 12, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles announced the red carpet for its annual fundraising gala on Oct. 14 would be canceled “out of respect for the devastating conflict and loss of life happening overseas.”
“The Academy Museum condemns all forms of hate and cruelty and stands in support of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives affected by the ongoing violence,” the museum’s statement reads.
Meryl StreepOprah Winfrey, Michael B. Jordan and Sofia Coppola were set to be honored at the event.
Gal Gadot, Jamie Lee Curtis among 700 entertainers denouncing Hamas’ terrorism in open letter
Similarly, the red-carpet premiere for the Sofia Coppola film “Priscilla,” which is based on the ups and downs of Elvis and Priscilla Presley‘s relationship, was canceled in response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, A24 Films confirmed to USA TODAY in an email.
“Out of respect for the events going on in the world, we will be forgoing a red carpet for the ‘Priscilla’ Los Angeles premiere,” the studio said in an email to the press.
One of the world’s most enduring and intractable conflicts connects to a century of competing claims to land, borders and rights in a region of deep historical and religious significance.
The United Nations in 1947 tried to divide the-then British Mandate of Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states. A year later, when the state of Israel was created, the first Arab-Israeli War broke out. Ever since Israel’s victory and following several other wars, Palestinians have gradually been displaced from territory that they also see as their rightful homeland.
Hamas launched a shocking attack against Israel on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and retaliation by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. Hamas’ offensive is connected not only to specific Israeli military activity but to what the group views as a decades-long campaign to rob Palestinians of their land and displace them by force. For years, the group has vowed to annihilate the state of Israel and claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks. 
The war, which is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides and has put millions of Israeli and Palestinian lives at risk as attacks have intensified day by day with hospitals and homes destroyed and some civilians held hostage.
As war wages on in Gaza, updated maps and graphics show latest in Hamas, Israel conflict
Contributing: John Bacon, KiMi Robinson, Kim Hjelmgaard, Phillip M. Bailey, Josh Meyer, Sudiksha Kochi, Francesca Chambers, Clare Mulroy and Edward Segarra, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

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