Chinese TV Can’t Air Eurovision After Cutting Gay-Themed Act

Photo: Eurovision Official Facebook Page. By Andres Putting

The European Broadcasting Union has terminated its partnership with a Chinese television channel after the station cut gay-themed content from its broadcast of the first Eurovision semifinal, the union said in a statement on May 10. “This 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 its statement.

Mango TV — an online subsidiary of Hunan Broadcasting System, the provincial government network that is China’s second-largest broadcaster — was licensed to broadcast Eurovision in China. But the station has now been barred from airing the grand final on Saturday after its online broadcast of the first semifinal cut out a performance from Irish singer Ryan O’Shaughnessy that depicted a romance between two men.

In addition to cutting the same-sex storyline, Mango TV screened the performance from Albanian contestant Eugent Bushpepa, but with his tattoos blurred out. Tattoos, hip-hop, and even the cartoon character Peppa Pig have all faced media purges in China recently.

Will Dai, an LGBTI community organizer with the Shanghai Queer Film Festival, believes the move adds to the growing confusion about where the country draws the line for LGBTI representation. He said that media outlets are sometimes themselves unsure of official guidelines, and that the cuts may have come not from a government directive, but from media companies self-silencing. Continue to read the full article here.


This is original content by Sixth Tone and has been republished with permission.