Olly Alexander fans plead 'do the right thing' as star dealt crushing blow hours before Eurovision final

olly looking sad
BBC TV Screengrab olly alexander road to eurovision Sam Ryder gave Eurovision street cred, Olly Alexander's proved its still career suicide -Credit:BBC

Olly Alexander has been urged by fans to withdraw from the competition just hours before he is due to perform. The former Years and Years frontman, 33, has been told it's not too late "to do the right thing and boycott Eurovision" amid protests outside the Malmo Arena in Sweden over Israel's involvement in the contest.

Olly is the UK's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest but his participation has been mired in controversy due to Israel's role in the competition amid ongoing military actions by against Palestine. The UK hopeful, who had previously signed a letter condemning Israel as an "apartheid regime" prior to his December reveal as the UK's contestant, has faced backlash from fans and activists for not withdrawing from this year's event.

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The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, a nonviolent Palestinian-led initiative advocating for boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel, have called on Eurovision fans, hosts, performers and workers to boycott this year's contest and urged viewers not to tune in this evening.

Olly responded to the appeals for him to step down in his BBC documentary. As he discussed the controversy and backlash, the 'It's A Sin' actor was seen in tears.

Queers For Palestine, just a few hours before the finale, issued a final plea urging Olly withdraw from the competition at the eleventh hour in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people, reports the Mirror.

In an open letter addressed to the UK entry on Instagram, Queers For Palestine - who have been urging Olly and other performers to quit for months - highlighted: "Can you hear your fans chanting all over Europe for you to do the right thing and boycott Eurovision? Despite the slogan 'United by Music', this Eurovision will forever be remembered as among the most complicit: United by Genocide. The organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (@ebu_hq) are protecting genocidal Israel by refusing to exclude it from the contest, and are instead banning all shows of solidarity for Palestine.

"Olly, once you take the stage on Saturday there is no going back. We know that the last few months have been a hard time for you. Being asked to sacrifice such a big career moment is no easy choice, and we appreciate the thought you must have put into it. As many of us know, taking a stand can be sincerely challenging, but your community stood with you in opposition to Israel's pinkwashing of genocide with the Voices 4 London letter you signed. You still have the power to make a difference we are all looking to you."

The plea concluded by emphasizing the importance of boycotting Eurovision as a means of standing in solidarity with the oppressed and calling for a ban on Israel's participation in the contest.

It continues: "We know you must feel dizzy with the pressure. But we ask one last time: join the millions of us around the world who support Palestinian liberation and are prepared to make sacrifices when necessary and when called upon to do so by oppressed communities.

"We in Queers for Palestine salute the countless venues and organisers across Britain from Edinburgh to Bristol, London to Brighton and all over Europe, who have cancelled Eurovision screening parties, heeding the call from Palestinians and their own communities, queer and otherwise. They recognise that what they stand to lose is minor in comparison to the genocide being inflicted on Palestinians in Gaza every day.

"As we write this, Israel is on the verge of invading Rafah, the last designated "safe zone" in besieged Gaza, after bombing it for days. Whatever glitz and glamour of Eurovision remains, after being so thoroughly tarnished by the EBU's failure to ban apartheid Israel, can only constitute a disgraceful artwashing and pinkwashing of genocide. You should have no part in it, as we believe you recognise.

"Olly, as a beloved queer icon you have substantial influence. As drag queen @crystal.will.see.you.now said on BBC Newsnight yesterday to all of us, 'This is something you can do. Boycott.' We will be boycotting Eurovision until Israel is banned. You can still join us. You will be rich in our love and admiration, and in your heart for having done the right thing."

Fans inundated pop artist Olly Alexander's comments with requests regarding his stance, as one fan expressed: "@ollyalexanderr what's more important, a performance, or the lives of millions? " Another spoke out saying "@ollyalexanderr You know the right thing to do, please have the courage to make a stand," while a third implored: "@ollyalexanderr don't sacrifice your integrity for mainstream financial gain. stand with your queer community in solidarity with Palestine."

In a gesture of unity towards Palestinians last October, Olly demanded a stop to the clashes between Israel and Gaza's ruling force, Hamas. An open letter by the LGBT group Voices4London, which received Olly's approval, branded Israel as an 'apartheid regime', alleging attempts to "ethnically cleanse" Palestinian territories.

Amid escalating urges to join the BDS movement in boycotting Israel for their role in Eurovision, Alexander now refers to the situation as "an incredibly complicated political situation, one that I'm not qualified to speak on."

In the BBC documentary, Olly Alexander's Road To Eurovision '24, a visibly moved Alexander responded to criticism, defending his decision not to heed the boycott calls.

The star of 'It's A Sin' shared his distress during the documentary, stating: "A lot of the contestants and myself have been having a lot of comments that are like 'You are complicit in a genocide by taking part in Eurovision' which is quite extreme. It's very extreme," visibly shaken by the remarks. "I understand where that sentiment is coming from but I think it's not correct.He continued: ".

He further added: "It's an incredibly complicated political situation, one that I'm not qualified to speak on. The backdrop to this is actual immense suffering. It's a humanitarian crisis, a war. It just so happens there's a song contest going on at the same time that I'm a part of."

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