Ireland Eurovision entry one of two censored in China
Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s song was cut because it includes two men dancing together
Ryan O’Shaughnessy performing ‘Together’ with two male dancers. Photograph: Jose Sena Goulao/EPA
Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest act was one of two songs that were censored the Chinese television broadcaster Mango during Tuesday night’s Eurovision semi-final.
It was reported that Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s song Together was cut out of the Mango broadcast because it includes two men dancing together.
The Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa’s act was reportedly not shown because Bushpepa and his bandmates are heavily tattooed.
Rainbow flags were blurred out at other times in the Mango broadcast, according to the BBC.
The Chinese authorities have in recent years been restrictive about representation of LGBT people and issues on television and social media, while tattoos have been banned on Chinese television since January.
The European Broadcasting Union, which produces Eurovision, responded by terminating its partnership with Mango, saying that censorship of the contest is “not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music”.
O’Shaughnessy told The Irish Times he believes that this was “the right decision” on the EBU’s part.
“It’s a step in the wrong direction if they don’t take action against people who are trying to suppress a certain demographic.”
RTÉ is using the act to promote inclusivity, urging viewers to use the social media hashtags #loveislove #together #Ireland to promote the act.
Albania also qualified on Tuesday, and is currently rated 24th out of 26th with the bookmakers.