MTV Prickly Over Wall Jibes
MTV was clearly bothered when German papers suggested it had celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by building another one.
The cable network rushed out a press release saying the two-meter-tall fence erected around U2’s concert at the Brandenburg Gate Nov. 5 was a safety measure.
The irony was not lost on fans, some of whom said they would boycott the event in protest.
“MTV wanted to ensure that the 10,000 music fans that attended tonight’s MTV EMAs present U2 at the Brandenburg Gate enjoyed a safe and happy experience,” said a statement sent out to correct “erroneous reports circulating in the media.”
“Under no circumstances did MTV build a ‘wall’ of any kind in or around the U2 production site,” it said, pointing out that MTV worked closely with local promoter DEAG, the borough of Berlin and the Berlin police department to create a comprehensive security plan for the event.
Star FM, a 24-hour Berlin rock music radio station, boycotted the concert in protest.
“Is this is a sick joke? A band whose leader, Bono, campaigns for world peace and freedom, puts on a concert to commemorate the fall of one of the most monstrous barriers in history, and they erect a wall to stop fans from taking part?” asked top Star FM DJ Wolfie.
He said the station had some tickets to give to fans but canceled a competition to distribute them in protest. Wolfie said he had also issued a one-day ban on U2 songs.
U2 lived in Berlin in 1990 to make the Achtung Baby album, which played on the themes of German division and unification and carried on its cover a picture of a Trabant, the East German car.
The Irish rock act took the “best live act” award on a night otherwise dominated by female solo artists.
Beyoncé won best song (“Halo”), best female and best video (“Single Ladies”), while Pixie Lott took best push artist, and Lady Gaga was best new act. Jay-Z took best urban act.
Eminem won best male, Placebo was best alternative act, Linkin Park took best performance, best rock act went to Green Day and German popsters Tokio Hotel took best group.