Broadcaster drops ‘anti-gay’ Eurovision pick

Broadcaster drops 'anti-gay' Eurovision pick
Xavier Naidoo. Photo: DPA
Public broadcaster ARD has pulled the plug on its candidate for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest just days after announcing him as their chosen man after a wave of objections to his political views.

Best-selling artist Xavier Naidoo – famed for his 2006 World Cup anthem “Dieser Weg” – was supposed to be a safe bet for next May's Eurovision contest in Stockholm.

After the fracas in the public selection for the 2015 contest in which the public’s choice Andreas Kümmert rejected his own nomination live on TV, the mandarins at public broadcasting decided to hand pick their own man.

But as soon as Naidoo’s selection was made public it was met by a wave of criticism, with this news site among others reporting on Naidoo’s apparently homophobic and sadistic lyrics.

“We're astonished about this choice,” Tobias Zimmermann, a member of the LSVD's federal board, told The Local on Thursday, citing Naidoo's “aggressive and inciting” song lyrics.

Announcing the U-turn at the weekend, ARD’s entertainment director Thomas Schreiber appeared to own up to the misstep saying “It was clear that he divides opinion, but the ferocity of the reaction took us by surprise. We didn’t judge it right.”

Schreiber said that a replacement will be found as quickly as possible.

Naidoo reacted resolutely to the news, saying “my passion for music and my work for peace, tolerance and harmony will not be put off course by this decision.”

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