Eurovision terminates broadcast contract after China LGBT censorship

Eurovision terminates broadcast contract after China LGBT censorship

In respons, the EBU barred Mango TV from broadcasting Thursday's second semifinal and the ultimate, which includes acts from 26 countries and is the season being held in Lisbon, Portugal.

The UK did not have to compete in the semi-finals as it gets an automatic place in the Eurovision final, thanks to its status as one of the biggest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union.

Albania's entry saw singer Eugent Bushpepa bear tattoos on his arms during a performance of the song Mall, and Ireland's Ryan O'Shaughnessy's efforts on Together saw a same-sex couple dancing - prompting them to cut said songs from their televised broadcast due to the country's broadcast policies.

MangoTV, which has exclusive rights to telecast the show in China, also blurred out rainbow flags in the audience.

She was followed by Israeli Netta Barzilai's "Toy" which had been the favourite to win until the first semi final on Tuesday when it slipped on the rankings.

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Despite an ever-increasing number of TV music contests such as Pop Idol, fans say the show - the longest-running global TV competition according to Guinness World Records - is in a category of its own.

A statement from the EBU said, "This is not in line with the EBU's values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music", as quoted by CNN.

The termination means the planned Chinese telecast of the second semi-final did not proceed as scheduled and that Mango TV would be unable to broadcast this weekend's Eurovision grand final. In 2016, 204 million people around the world tuned into the contest, so it's no small event.

"From the very start we've just said, "love is love, doesn't matter if it's between two guys, two girls, or a guy and a girl", O'Shaughnessy said. The host added, "This is Eurovision, it's inclusive of every single person". MangoTV could not be reached for comment.

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