MTV has invited transgender troops to its Video Music Awards ceremony in a rebuke to Donald Trump and his ban.
The Pentagon is reviewing invites after the network’s president, Chris McCarthy, said on Thursday he would be honoured if the transgender “heroes” attend the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The US president caused outrage and offence in July when he abruptly tweeted that transgender people could no longer serve in the military.
Mr McCarthy said: “MTV has invited transgender members of the US Armed Forces to the 2017 Video Music Awards and we would be honoured if they could attend.
“Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stand for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere.”
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Haverstick, a Pentagon spokesman, said “MTV has invited service members in their personal capacity to this year’s VMAs”.
“At the request of the services the Department of Defence is reviewing the parameters of the individual invitations.”
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Lorde and Miley Cyrus are among the acts to perform at the ceremony, which has for the first time done away with gendered categories.
Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar and Ariana Grande are among those vying for the best artist award, which replaces the best female and best male video groups.
:: The show will be broadcast in the UK on the MTV channel at 8pm on Monday.