Eurovision bosses try to defend banning EU flag after immense backlash

Eurovision Song Contest 2024 sign

The EBU has appeared to defend banning the EU flag at the Song Contest (Picture: REUTERS)

An email sent from the Eurovision Broadcasting Union has appeared to defend the banning of the EU flag at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The 2024 competition in Malmo, Sweden, which saw Switzerland’s Nemo win and the UK’s entry Olly Alexander come in 18th place, has been shrouded in controversy and sparked immense uproar.

From the outset, fans threatened to boycott and urged artists including Years & Years singer Olly and Ireland’s Bambie Thug to do the same, over Israel’s participation in the competition amid the ongoing war against Hamas which has killed more than 35,000 people in Gaza, in figures obtained by Al Jazeera.

And there was drama behind-the-scenes too, with Dutch artist Joost Klein shockingly axed hours before the grand final after a complaint of inappropriate behaviour, and is now said to be likely facing charges, while Italy’s act Angelina Mango and Bambie were amongst contestants speaking out about tensions off-stage.

Malmo was also covered in protests, and things only got worse by the ban of the Palestinian and European Union flags, with European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas later lodging an official complaint over the refusal to allow EU flags.

‘With the EU being targeted by malicious and authoritarian actors, EBU’s decision contributed to discrediting a symbol that brings together all Europeans,’ he said in his complaint, demanding that the broadcaster ‘explain the rationale behind this decision and attribute responsibility where it is due’.

Switzerland’s Nemo was crowned winner of Eurovision 2024 (Picture: REUTERS)

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The UK’s entry Olly Alexander came in 18th place (Picture: Martin Sylvest Andersen/Getty Images)

He went on, according to the BBC: ‘The incoherence in the EBU’s stance left myself and millions of viewers wondering for what and for whom the Eurovision Song Contest stands.’

Schinas has now revealed the response he was sent, but fans have said it’s ‘not good enough’.

The response reads: ‘The Eurovision Song Contest shares the same values of universality, diversity, equality and inclusivity as the European Union itself.

I appreciate the positive reply from @EBU_HQ regarding my concerns raised on the ban of the EU flag during the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest.

United by Music
United by our Flag 🇪🇺 #Eurovision

— Margaritis Schinas (@MargSchinas) May 16, 2024

‘The EBU has a proud tradition of celebration diversity through music and in bringing European citizens together.’

It …read more

Source:: Metro


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