The European Broadcasting Union has terminated the rights for Mango TV of China to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest, following censorship of semi-final one performances.
The EBU statement reads:
On the 9th of May, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV broadcast the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest live but two performances were censored. This is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music. It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second Semi-Final or the Grand Final.
During the first semi-final the performances of Albania and Switzerland were not show. Albania with Eugent Bushpepa and his performance of “Mall”, was skipped over due to China’s ban on television performers displaying tattoos.
Ireland, on the other hand, was censored due to its inclusion of LGBT content, which China has also banned. Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s performance of “Together” notably featured a romantic dance number with two men. Parts of Switzerland’s performance were also censored with blurred bars to cover rainbow flags in the audience.
During the announcement of the qualifiers, however, Albania and Ireland’s reactions were left unedited.
Mango TV has been broadcasting the contest in China since 2015, having provided viewers in China an online broadcast of the competition.