Eurovision Song Contest 2018: China banned from broadcasting Eurovision after censoring same-sex dancing
Chinese broadcaster Mango TV has reportedly been barred from televising the Eurovision Song Contest.
The broadcaster was dropped by the contest’s organising body the EBU after censoring two performances during Tuesday’s semi-final.
The EBU said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
Ireland took part in Tuesday’s Eurovision Song Contest semi-final in Lisbon, where Irish entrant Ryan O’Shaughnessy took to the stage to perform the track “Together,” a moving ballad about a failed relationship.
The entry featured interpretive dancers Kevin O’Dwyer and Alan McGrath re-enacting a same-sex love story, earning praise from audience members.
The announcement comes after it was confirmed that the performance was censored from the broadcast of the contest in China.
Hunan TV holds the rights to broadcast the show in China, where it is available via its online broadcasting service Mango TV.
Eurovision fans in the country say that the broadcaster censored O’Shaughnessy’s performance in its entirety.
Broadcasting guidance in China bans “abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”
Eurovision fansite ESCToday reports that the broadcaster also censored footage of rainbow flags being waved in the crowd at the event, using a crude ‘blur’ tool to obscure the LGBT rights symbol.
Countries taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest are obliged to air all entries in full, but as China only airs the contest as an international broadcaster it is unlikely sanctions can be pursued.
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