Eurovision bosses slammed over responses to Bambie Thug and Eric Saade’s Palestine messages

Eurovision bosses slammed over responses to Bambie Thug and Eric Saade’s Palestine messages

Related video: Bambie Thug says they will ‘stand out’ to make Eurovision final


The Eurovision Song Contest has always insisted it is ‘non-political’, despite taking the decision in 2022 to block Russia from competing over its illegal invasion of Ukraine and, this year, warning fans not to bring the Palestinian flag to the event in Malmö, Sweden.

It comes amid the ongoing bombardment of Gaza by Israel, which is being allowed to compete in the contest, sparking fury and calls for a boycott of the event among Palestine supporters.

And the controversy has continued off the back of the first semi-final on Tuesday, when Swedish singer Eric Saade - part of the opening performance - was seen holding a Palestinian scarf known as a keffiyeh.

Saade represented Sweden in the 2011 contest and is of Palestinian heritage.

In a statement responding to the performance, a spokesperson for organisers the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said: “The Eurovision Song Contest is a live TV show.

“All performers are made aware of the rules of the contest, and we regret that Eric Saade chose to compromise the non-political nature of the event.”

And Saade wasn’t the only performer to make headlines over their stance on Palestine, as Irish contestant Bambie Thug revealed they were ordered to change their makeup for their performance of “Doomsday Blue”.

Bambie had planned to wear messages on their costume in the ancient language of Ogham, spelling out the words ‘ceasefire’ and “freedom for Palestine”.

However, in the press conference for qualifiers of the first semi-final (of which Ireland is one of them), Bambie revealed they were made to change the message.

“It was very important for me because I’m pro-justice and pro-peace. Unfortunately, I had to change those messages today to “crown the witch” only, in order from the EBU,” they said.

Saade and Bambie Thug’s actions have been praised by social media users, who also condemned the EBU’s response:

Eurovision continues with the second semi-final on Thursday and the grand final on Saturday.

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