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TVE pulls out of Eurojunior contest

Pubcaster protests at promotion of stereotypes

MADRID — Spanish pubcaster TVE has pulled out of Eurojunior, the children’s version of Europe’s Eurovision Song Contest, in what’s regarded as a protest at the competition’s promotion of tween sex appeal.

TVE’s exit is an embarrassment for one of European TV’s most bizarre broadcast traditions.

An annual national pop talent show, Eurovision is backed by the European Broadcasting Union, which represents pubcasters throughout Europe.

Despite such august backing, and an audience of millions, the adult popfest is a byword for tackiness, mindless ditties and nationalist cliches.

Now TVE director Javier Pons has struck out at Eurojunior, saying it “encourages stereotypes that we do not share,” without detailing what these stereotypes are.

However, TVE is widely seen as drawing attention to the adult tone adopted by the young contestants. In 2004 Maria Isabel won Eurojunior with the song “Better Dead Than Simple.”

“Better Dead,” penned by Isabel when she was nine, included lines that included “Lipstick, touch of Rimmel, perm like a movie star, hairdressers, moisturizer, makeup — instant beauty, open the door, onto the street, it doesn’t matter what people say.”

TVE will raise the issue with the EBU. The next Eurojunior contest takes place in December.

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