China Broadcast of Eurovision Contest Revoked After Anti-LGBT Censorship

The European Broadcasting Union has canceled the contract of China’s Mango TV to screen Saturday’s finale of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Mango is one of China’s top TV operators and is part of the Hunan Television group that has multiple business relationships with Lionsgate.

The decision was taken after Mango TV edited the Wednesday transmission of the semifinal to remove gay elements. The European Broadcasting Union said that the editing was not in line with its 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 semifinal or the Grand Final.”

Mango TV cut its transmission of Ireland’s song performance, which included two men dancing together, as well as the Albanian performance. It also blurred out rainbow flags, symbols of LGBT pride, and images of performers with tattoos.

Over the past year, the Chinese government has been taking an increasingly conservative world view. It is imposing that stance, and a return to “core Socialist values,” within its own borders through increasing intervention over the Internet and social media.

Earlier this year, the government pushed back against what it perceives as decadent Western culture, classifying performers with exposed tattoos, homosexuality and hip-hop music as undesirable elements.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1997 and ceased to be classified as a mental disorder from 2001. But it remains a socially fraught issue.

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