Since the 1990s, MTV has hosted the Europe Music Awards (EMAs), where it honors the best in music and pop culture that year. This year, the awards ceremony took place near Bilbao, Spain, and was held by Hailee Steinfeld. And while there were many notable performances and appearances, one highlight was Janet Jackson's speech in the EMAs of 2018. Jackson dedicated his award to the women of the #MeToo movement, speaking for gender equality.
On November 4, Jackson received the Global Icon Award, awarded to artists such as Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, Queen and Eminem. Essentially, it's an award given to an iconic artist who has had great success and delivered letters for some time. So yes, Janet Jackson definitely fits in that category.
After being introduced by Camila Cabello and Jason Derulo, Jackson accepted the award in front of quite violent applause. She first noticed his gratitude and expressed how being called an icon is not only an honor, but also something that invokes responsibility. And your responsibility now is to speak up for women's rights. "Tonight I feel moved to speak for women whose voices have been stifled," she began. "I'm one of those women."
In the light of the continued progress of the #MeToo movement, Jackson expressed not only his solidarity with women who suffered injustice but also his identification as one of these women as well:
"Women who have been gagged, both literally and emotionally, women who have been abused, women who have been intimidated, women who have lived in fear, I am with you, you are my sisters."
Jackson has been a champion of many causes throughout her career, including women's equality along with HIV / AIDS awareness. Upon receiving the Billboard Music Icon Award in May – becoming the first black woman to do so – Jackson also made reference to the Me Too movement. In her speech, she talked about this "glorious moment of history" happening now and that women "finally" stood up collectively to say "we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused."
This message was echoed in Jackson's address to the EMAs. "Today I carry the hope that a new world is emerging," said the singer. "A world in which caregivers – both men and women – will no longer tolerate gender inequality … Women, our voices will be heard […] when we speak for justice. "
The rest of his powerful speech touched on his faith while urging tolerance and acceptance of people through religions:
Speak for a spirit that crosses all frontiers, recognize the dignity of all people and affirm the beauty of all faiths Speak for acts of true charity small and great Speak for a comprehensive love Because it is the love that will heal our wounds, love that will give us strength to help each other So let's raise our voices Let's start today to let the ever-surprising love of God lead the way With all my heart, I thank you God I thank all my fans. "
While there, Jackson also presented a mix of his songs, including his newest collaboration with Daddy Yankee, "Made For Now." And it's safe to say that his performance and acceptance speech were two of the biggest highlights of the evening.
Jackson's defense exhibition of the #MeToo movement showed how she is dedicated to continuing the conversation and raising the voices of those who can not speak for themselves. What better definition of "global icon" could there be?