Hatari has reached the limit of the EBU’s tolerance regarding political statements at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Aftonbladet reports that Hatari have reached the very limit of the European Broadcasting Union’s tolerance for political statements at the Eurovision Song Contest. According to group member Matthías Tryggvi, Jon Ola Sand the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest has:
told us very clearly that we have reached the limit for EBU’s tolerance, if we have not already passed it, when it comes to politics
The band has created a whirlwind of coverage in both the Israeli and international press for comments that they have made regarding Israel. The group previously challenged the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match on the beach. The group has been vocal in questioning whether Eurovision should be in Israel.
Hatari are competing in Semi-Final One of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 tonight. The group have been told should they do any political statements on stage that they will be disqualified for the competition. Hatari have said that they do not plan to do any such statements.
Who are Hatari?
Hatari have been performing since 2015 and are formed of Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson and Einar Hrafn Stefánsson. In December 2018, the group released a statement saying that they were disbanding because they had failed to topple capitalism.
In January 2019 it was revealed that Hatari would be competing in the Icelandic selection for Eurovision 2019. They competed with the song “Hatrið mun sigra” and won the selection. Since their victory they have gone on to be one of the most talked about acts in the contest.
Iceland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 and, aside from 2 years of relegation in 1998 and 2002, has participated every year since. The contest is incredibly popular in Iceland, regularly being one of the most watched programmes of the year. Iceland has yet to win the contest but has finished in 2nd on two occasions. In 1999, Selma missed out on victory in Jerusalem by 17 points, and in 2009 Yohanna became the most successful Icelandic entrant ever finishing 2nd in the final with the song “Is it True?”. She scored 218 points, yet still finished 169 points behind the runaway winner Norway.