Thursday 5 December 2019

Speculation: Hungary out of 'too gay' Eurovision

Diversity: Conchita Wurst and rainbow flags at Eurovision 2014
Diversity: Conchita Wurst and rainbow flags at Eurovision 2014

Samuel Osborne

Hungary has pulled out of the Eurovision song contest amid speculation the competition is "too gay" for the country's far-right government.

Although no official reason has been given for the withdrawal, a source inside Hungary's public broadcaster reportedly said they assumed hostility to the contest's LGBT+ links was behind the decision.

One pro-government commentator described Eurovision as a "homosexual flotilla" and said the country's mental health would be better if it did not join the competition.

A source inside MTVA, the Hungarian public broadcaster which typically hosts its own song contest where the winner goes on to represent the country at Eurovision, said: "I was not surprised. It comes from the organisational culture of MTVA."

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Positive coverage of LGBT+ rights in the media was discouraged, they said.

It comes after Hungarian website index.hu quoted public media sources speculating the country had withdrawn because Eurovision was considered "too gay".

In a statement, MTVA said: "Instead of taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, we will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly."

The broadcaster announced the winner of its song contest would not go on to compete in Eurovision but would appear at media shows.

Irish Independent

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