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Eurovision Has Blocked China From Watching This Year's Contest
12 May 2018, 08:17 | Erma Lawrence
A general view of Sao Joao Castle and downtown Lisbon. – AFP
Beijing has reportedly censored LGBT references in the global singing contest, with reports the nation is blurring rainbow flags and censoring tattoos.
The results of the second semifinal of the Eurovision song contest 2018 final of the competition took place in 10 countries, namely: Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia, the Netherlands.
Mango TV, the online video arm of Hunan TV, blacked out the performance of Ireland's Ryan O'Shaughnessy, which featured two male dancers and pixelated a rainbow flag during another song.
It claimed Chinese social media users believe the latter was removed for describing a gay relationship, while the Albanian performers sported tattoos. China in 2016 classified homosexuality as unfit subject matter for television, along with abuse, incest, and general "perversion".
"[The censoring of the two performances] is not in line with the EBU's values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music", the EBU said in a statement. The other was Albania's competitor, Eugent Bushpepa, whom the Chinese station considered objectionable because of his tattoos.
O'Shaughnessy told the BBC that the EBU's decision to cut ties with MangoTV was "really important" because "from the very start we have just said love is love".
The EBU announced on Friday the termination of its contract with China's MangoTV, preventing it from broadcasting Thursday's second semi-final and Saturday's grand final hosted in Lisbon, Portugal.
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