The 2023 MTV Europe Music Awards, initially planned to take place in Paris on November 5, 2023, have been canceled due to the ongoing conflict in the Gaza region between the State of Israel and Palestine. This decision was officially announced by the EMAs on October 19, 2023, through a press release. The cancellation was made to ensure the safety and well-being of the numerous employees, crew members, artists, fans, and partners involved in the event who would have been traveling from various parts of the world to bring the show to life.
In their statement, the EMAs explained, “In light of the volatile global events, we have chosen not to proceed with the 2023 MTV EMAs out of an abundance of caution for the thousands of individuals who contribute to this event, including employees, crew members, artists, fans, and partners traveling from around the world. The MTV EMAs are an annual celebration of global music, but in the face of the ongoing and tragic events in Israel and Gaza, it does not feel like an appropriate time for a global celebration. With thousands of lives already affected, this is a time of mourning. We eagerly anticipate the return of the MTV EMAs in November 2024.”
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.
— MTV EMA (@mtvema) October 19, 2023
The 2023 EMAs had been highly anticipated, particularly as it would have marked the first occasion the new Afrobeats category was to be presented. Notable Nigerian artists such as Asake, Arya Starr, Burna Boy, Davido, and Rema were nominated for this award, alongside Malian-born French singer Aya Nakamura. Fans will have to wait until 2024 when the EMAs are scheduled to return at the Paris Nord Villepinte in France.