Eurovision bans China from broadcasting final after cutting same-sex dancer and tattoo acts

China cut both Ireland and Albania’s entries under their strict guidelines. (REX)
China cut both Ireland and Albania’s entries under their strict guidelines. (REX)

Chinese audiences will not be able to see The Eurovision Song Contest after its broadcaster, Mango TV, was dropped by the event’s organising body.

The dispute arose when part of the televised content’s show was cut by the Chinese channel, during Tuesday’s semi-final.

The EBU, the event’s organising body, made the decision to axe Chinese coverage of tomorrow’s final after the broadcaster opted to censor both Albania and Ireland’s songs.

Albania’s entry saw singer Eugent Bushpepa bear tattoos on his arms during a performance of the song Mall, and Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s efforts on Together saw a same-sex couple dancing – prompting them to cut said songs from their televised broadcast due to the country’s broadcast policies.

According to The Irish Times, China have strict rules, citing that ‘China prohibit the broadcast of “abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on”.’

Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy. (REX)
Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy. (REX)

The country also enforces strict guidelines that say ‘programmes should not feature actors with tattoos, hip hop culture, sub-culture (non-mainstream culture), and dispirited culture (decadent culture).’

The EBU made a statement on the matter, declaring the values of Eurovision are to be inclusive and non-discriminatory: ‘On the 9th of May, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV broadcast the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest live but two performances were censored,’ they began.

‘This is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music. It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second Semi-Final or the Grand Final.’

As a result, China are therefore banned from airing tonight’s semi-final and Saturday’s grand final shows.

Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa. (REX)
Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa. (REX)

With both the countries having already qualified for Saturday night’s live final, if China were granted airing rights then they’d cut out their entries again, which is something Eurovision organisers says isn’t an option.

Back in 2005, Lebanon were hopeful of joining the ranks of Eurovision contenders but ended up withdrawing after they stated they’d not show Israel’s song.

Catch the final of The Eurovision Song Contest on BBC One, this Saturday from 8pm.

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