Jane Zhang Refuses MTV Award, Cites Unfair Treatment

Jane Zhang in Milan for MTV EMAs

Jane Zhang refused to accept her two MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA), as well as participate in any related activities, after being told that she would not be allowed to accept her award on stage and would have to settle for receiving it backstage.

October 25 saw the announcement of this year’s MTV EMA winners at a ceremony in Milan, Italy. Though focused primarily on Europe, the EMAs also aim to celebrate artists from each continent with regional and worldwide awards. This year, Jane was nominated for “Best Asian Act” (officially known as “Worldwide Act: Asia”) and “Best Chinese & Hong Kong Act,” both of which she ended up winning.

Originally, Jane planned to thank her fans for their overwhelming support (since the EMAs are decided by fan votes) when she went on stage to accept her awards. However, less than two hours before she was to appear on the red carpet, MTV notified her team and said that because not all of the winners from the other continents were present, Jane and the other Worldwide Act winners would have to accept their awards backstage.

“We felt this was extremely unfair, not to mention insulting,” said Michael Feng (Feng Ke), Jane’s fiance and CEO of Show City Times, her management company. When he pressed for further information, he was told that because not all of the winners were there, “it wouldn’t look very good” for only a few winners to go on stage.

Michael tried to negotiate, saying that it didn’t make sense for Jane’s appearance to be affected because other artists had failed to show up. However, he was told that receiving the award backstage was the only option and that other artists, such as Justin Bieber, were receiving their Worldwide Act awards backstage as well and hadn’t made a fuss.

“We’ve lost our faith in these awards,” Michael said in an interview later. “When I was talking with [MTV], I was furious. I told them this was a type of disrespect toward Chinese music, toward the numerous fans who had voted, and toward us artists.”

MTV China later issued a statement on Sina Weibo saying that it regretted that the Worldwide Act award winners could only be shown on video. It also stated that Jane and her team’s reaction was understandable and that MTV China was in active talks to win more rights and benefits for Asian artists.

In previous years, Han Geng, Li Yuchun, and Bibi Zhou all won MTV EMAs for “Best Worldwide Act” (before the award was split by continent). All three were allowed to go on stage to accept their awards.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

6 thoughts on “Jane Zhang Refuses MTV Award, Cites Unfair Treatment

  1. So they split the Worldwide Act into continents (and North America only has Canada/US) because too many Asians were winning the award, right? lol I mean, not like EMAs and VMAs (or other awards) mean anything after you leave your teens, but it was amusing to see the Western world give the biggest WTF reactions just because they’re so self-centered. xD

    I remember some comment saying a “worldwide act” should be known by a majority of countries and not by a majority of people (of maybe one or a few other countries).

    Snarky comment over.

    Oh, wait- no~ I also wonder why India has to compete with Africa xD – that’s like lumping 2 billion of the world’s population into one category. While US/Canada which make up not even 400 million people, get their own category. The latino category (sans Brazil) was so crowded, we had like 20 groups up for votes. lol

    And all of Latin America with Brazil, sums up to a bit over 550 million people.

    It would be interesting to see the EMA analyzing their past Worldwide Act votes by ip # too see how many of the votes came from a particular country.

    I was waiting to see either Jane or Jay pick up the award, though.

    • I seriously laughed out loud when I looked at the previous winners for Best Worldwide Act — BIGBANG, Han Geng, Li Yuchun, and Bibi Zhou. And this year, it’s suddenly split by continent hahaha. I wonder whyyyyyyy.

      What I really don’t get is why the award is still called “Worldwide Act” but with the related continent tacked to the end. It’s like, “Hey, Jane’s the most popular artist in the world… except only in Asia!” ?????

      • Yeah, this was the only award I actually cared to google, and just had to laugh when I found out they had split the category. They risked One Direction losing, they couldn’t risk Bieber losing… though I must admit Taylor is a worthy voting contender. But both losing to Jane or Jay? No way.

  2. I watched EMA, not the whole thing, but I saw when Justin Bieber went to accept that award on stage! So yes, unfair treatment! Disrespectful when the artist as Jane Zhang coming all the way from China only to accept the award backstage! Does this make sense even? *need to calm down* *breathing*

  3. Not sure if I’m understanding this correctly…but how is it unfair treatment if every other winner was also receiving it backstage? Is she saying it’s unfair for all of this year’s winners?…or is it hinting towards a racial bias?

    • Well, she can’t speak for all the artists, so we can only assume she’s saying its unfair for her at this point. Her fiance did hint that MTV’s attitude was discriminatory though because they kept pressuring them to give in “because Justin Bieber was ok with it.”

      It’s also VERY unprofessional to give such last-minute notice when Jane, and I’m sure a lot of others, made a special trip just to attend.

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