"I speak for women whose voices have been stifled."
Janet Jackson delivered an emotional speech at the MTV European Music Awards last night as she accepted the honour for Global Icon.
The pop icon, 52, appeared to subtly reference the #MeToo movement and called for global tolerance as she took to the stage in Bilbao last night.
“I accept this award with profound gratitude. To be called an icon is a tremendous honour but one that comes with a tremendous responsibility”, Jackson told the crowd.
“Tonight I speak for women whose voices have been stifled. I am one of those women.
“Women who have been gagged – both literally and emotionally. Women who have been abused, women who have been intimidated, women who live in fear… I stand with you. You are my sisters.
“Tonight I carry the hope that a new world is emerging. A world in which caring people, male as well as female, will no longer tolerate gender inequality. Women, our voices will be heard […] when we speak out for justice.”
Calling for global tolerance, Jackson pleaded: “Speak out for the spirit, speak out for a spirit that crosses all borders, recognises the dignity of all people and affirms the beauty of all faiths.
“Speak out for acts of true charity, small and large. Speak out for an embracing love because it’s love that will heal our wounds. Love that will give us strength to come to one and other’s aid. So let’s lift our today and let the ever amazing love of god lead the way. With all my heart, I thank you god. I thank all of my fans. I love you. so much.”
Later in the show, she performed a greatest hits medley.
Although defined by Jackson’s speech, the ceremony also saw Camila Cabelo emerging as the artist of the night, after picking up four of the six awards that she was nominated for. You can find the whole list of winners here.