LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Just days after President Donald Trump signed a directive to ban transgender military recruits, MTV made a political statement on the red carpet of the Video Music Awards.
A number of transgender military members arrived at the big show on Sunday night. Earlier this week, the Department of Defense confirmed to Variety that MTV had requested the presence of transgender military members, but the government agency was still reviewing the request.
“DoD confirms that MTV has invited Service members in their personal capacity to this year’s VMAs,” Pentagon Spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Haverstick said on Thursday. “At the request of the Services, DoD is reviewing the parameters of the individual invitations.”
In July, Trump tweeted that transgender individuals would be banned from the military, sparking both backlash and confusion, as he had yet to lay out a formal plan for the ban. A month later, on Friday, he signed a directive to reverse an Obama-era plan that would have allowed transgender individuals to serve in the armed forces. It leaves the Department of Defense six months to develop a plan on how to implement the ban.
It’s far from the first time a political statement has been made on the VMAs red carpet. Last year, Beyonce arrived with several women whose sons were killed as the result of police actions, the faces of the Mothers of the Movement. In 2010, Lady Gaga brought four soldiers who were either discharged or asked to leave the military because of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
Katy Perry hosts the 2017 VMAs, which kicks off at 8 p.m. from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.