CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said, “Music must always be our safe space. When that’s violated, it strikes at the very core of who we are. We felt that at the Bataclan Music Hall in Paris. We felt that at the Manchester Arena, in England. We felt that at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas. And on October 7, we felt that again when we heard the tragic news from the Supernova Music Festival For Love, that over 360 music fans lost their lives, and another 40 were kidnapped.”
“That day and all the tragic days that have followed have been awful for the world to bear as we mourn the loss of all innocent lives,” he added.
He continued, “We live in a world divided by so much…Music must remain the common ground upon which we all stand, together in peace and harmony.”
Mason noted the string quartet with Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian musicians who were performing while he spoke.
Though the tribute was well received, anti-Israel activists on social media who believed that the Nova massacre was "justified resistance" or falsely claimed Israel committed the atrocities slammed the remarks.
According to Deadline, some of the evening’s attendees were delayed by anti-Israel activists outside the awards ceremony.
Earlier in the evening, Annie Lennox called for a “ceasefire” following a performance of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a tribute to Sinéad O’Connor who died last year, and her comments were met with an ovation.
In December, Lennox joined hundreds of artists who petitioned President Joe Biden for an immediate ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists.
Days after the Oct 7 massacre, the academy issued a supportive statement for the victims of the massacre, writing on X, “As an organization that promotes the unifying and healing power of music, we are shocked and heartbroken by the terrorist attacks in Israel, including the massacre that took place at a music festival where innocent civilians had gathered together for a joyful night of music.”
Social media influencer Montana Tucker, who is Jewish and a descendent of Holocaust survivors, wore a dress to the awards ceremony that featured a large yellow ribbon, advocating for the return of the over 130 hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza since the Oct. 7 atrocities.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS received 17 million viewers in final same-day ratings for the broadcast, an increase of 36 percent over the number of viewers who tuned in to watch in 2023.
Fans of Taylor Swift likely also contributed to the increase in viewership, as the pop star on Sunday became the first artist to win Album of the Year four times. Her album “Midnights” also won Best Pop Vocal Album.
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