Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU), which puts together Eurovision Song Contest and grants the license to broadcast it, has ended its contract with the local Chinese broadcaster, Mango TV after the channel censored two performances.
Mango TV is known as one of the top television operators in China and is also a part of the Hunan Television group which carried out several business relationships along with Lionsgate.
In a statement, EBU said that Mango TV censored an LGBTQ love story from the Wednesday’s semifinal show to take out the gay elements. However, the censoring was “not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music,” said EBU.
Mango TV censored Ireland’s song performance, where two men were dancing holding hands and also Albania’s performance. The broadcaster also blurred out the performers’ tattoos, pictures of the LGBT rainbow flag and rainbow flags.
The decision taken by EBU comes in just when the show’s finale was about to be broadcast on Saturday. As a result, the show’s fans will now not be able to see the grand finale.
Since a year, the government of China has been taking a conservative view of the world. It has been taking measures to ensure that all the websites adhere to ‘core Socialist values,’ which includes rejecting any kind of homosexual content over the social media and internet.
Previously this year, the government had also banned tattoos from appearing on television in China, by classifying the performers showcasing tattoos, hip-hop music or homosexuality as an undesirable facet. Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter version had banned all the content about homosexuality from the platform in April.
Homosexuality is not legal in China and was classified as a type of mental disorder starting from the year 2001 but continues to be a socially agitated issue.