Bambie Thug reaffirms support for Palestine as they address Eurovision censorship row

Ireland’s Eurovision entrant Bambie Thug has reiterated their support for Palestine after they were told to remove messages of support for Gaza ahead of Tuesday’s semi-final performance.

The non-binary performer sailed through Tuesday’s (7 May) semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, becoming the first act from Ireland to make it to the final in five years.

Following a rousing performance of their song “Doomsday Blue”, which included the artist possibly “hexing” a certain someone and a costume reveal that ended in the trans flag colours, Bambie Thug revealed that they had been asked by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to remove makeup from their face which spelled ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘ceasefire’ in the ancient Celtic language Ogham.

In a caption posted to Instagram alongside a newly-released cover of The Cranberries’ track “Zombie” the singer reaffirmed their support for Palestine as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues.

The conflict, which followed a Hamas attack on Israel which left more than 1,200 people dead, has resulted in the deaths of more than 34,000 people in Gaza, leading to calls for Eurovision to be boycotted due to Israel’s inclusion in the 2024 competition.

“History repeats in rhyme until we learn the lesson. An important piece of music that needs to be remembered and is sadly still so relevant to our world today,” Bambie Thug’s caption begins. “I know many of you have varying opinions on my position at the moment but I am truly doing everything in my power that I can to support.

“After my first dress rehearsal I was asked to remove both ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘ceasefire’ in Ogham from my outfit. My delegation and I fought against this and the EBU eventually agreed to [let] ceasefire remain.”

But, the star continues: “About an hour before my call time, I was informed they had an internal meeting and ‘ceasefire’ was no longer acceptable, and if I didn’t remove this I would not be allowed on stage.”

“I am pro-justice and pro-peace and this will never change, I only hope with a platform I can reach more people’s ears. My heart and prayers are with the people of Palestine. To be clear, being pro-Palestinian does not mean I am antisemitic, it means I am anti-war, anti-occupation, anti-oppression and anti-killing of innocent civilians and children.

“Everyone born into this world should have the right to a home, safety, water, food, freedom and compassion. We must continue to strive to lead with love and look past our differences and remember that under our skin we are one human race and one spirit.”

Bambie Thug performing at Eurovision semi-finals
Bambie Thug says the EBU forced them to remove Pro-Palestinian messages from their outfit. (Getty)

Speaking at a press event after the semi-final, Bambie Thug said: “It was very important for me [to have these messages on my costume]. Unfortunately, I had to change those to ‘Crown the Witch’ only.”

The EBU told PinkNews: “The writing on Bambie Thug’s body during dress rehearsals contravened contest rules that are designed to protect the non-political nature of the event.

“After discussions with the Irish delegation, they agreed to change the text for the live show.”

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Saturday 11 May from 8pm in the UK. In Australia, you can watch the final on SBS at 5am Australian Eastern Standard Time on Sunday 12 May, and later that morning on SBS On Demand.