The Eurovision Song Contest, the biggest music contest in the world, is set to air this weekend on channels around the world. However, not, it seems, in China, after the European Broadcasting Union banned Chinese broadcaster Mango TV from blocking LGBT elements of the event.
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 also separately blurred tattoos from Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa.
Although homosexuality was decriminalized in China in 1997, many people are still discriminated against in the country. There has also been a crackdown on tattoos, with media regulators censoring actors who are inked.
The EBU said: “On May 9, 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.”
The Eurovision Song Contest final will air Saturday on Logo in the U.S. with RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Ross Mathews as co-host alongside Drag Race contestant Shangela, as well as on a slew of networks around the world including the BBC.