Eurovision – too gay for Hungary?
Hungary has pulled out of the next Eurovision song contest, with speculation that the decision was taken because the competition is “too gay” for the country’s conservative government.
While no official reason has been given for the withdrawal, the move comes amid an increase in homophobic rhetoric in Hungary, where the anti-migration prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has launched a “family first” policy aimed at helping traditional families and boosting birth rates.
Earlier this year, the speaker of the Hungarian parliament compared same-sex adoption to paedophilia, while a pro-government television commentator referred to Eurovision as “a homosexual flotilla” and said not participating would benefit the nation’s mental health.
A source inside the Hungarian public broadcaster, MTVA, told the Guardian that while no reason was communicated internally for the decision to withdraw from the contest, the assumption among employees was that Eurovision’s association with LGBTQ culture was behind the move.
“I was not surprised. It comes from the organisational culture of MTVA,” said the source, adding that positive coverage of LGBTQ rights at the media holding was discouraged.
The move by Hungary recalls opposition to Eurovision in Russia, where a homophobic MP called for the country to withdraw in 2014, saying that participating would “contradict the path of cultural and moral renewal that Russia stands on today”.
The European Broadcasting Union, which runs the contest, said: “It is not uncommon for EBU members to have breaks in participation in the Eurovision song contest,” and pointed out that Hungary had been absent on previous occasions. However, since 2011, the country has entered every year.
“We hope to welcome their broadcaster MTVA back to the Eurovision song contest family soon,” the EBU said.
Where is Eurovision 2020?
After Duncan Laurence landed the Netherlands their fifth Eurovision Song Contest win in 2019, and the massive event heads to Rotterdam for the 2020 competition – the 65th time that the event has been held.
All of the action will be taking place at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam Ahoy in the Netherlands.
When is Eurovision 2020?
The first Semi-Final will be held on Tuesday 12 May, the second Semi-Final on Thursday 14 May and the Grand Final on Saturday 16 May.
Who will we see at Eurovision 2020?
41 countries will be taking part in Eurovision 2020. Australia is back again, and Bulgaria and Ukraine both return to the competition.
35 nations will compete in the two Semi-Finals. 10 successful acts from each Semi-Final will join the Big Five – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – and hosts the Netherlands in the Grand Final.
The draw for the semi-final allocations will be made on 28 January.
Some countries have already begun their selection process for the artists and the songs that will be representing them in Rotterdam.
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