Controversy and Protests Mar Eurovision 2024 in Sweden

The 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, was marred by controversy, protests, and backstage tension, culminating in the disqualification of the Netherlands' contestant. Switzerland's Nemo emerged as the winner, dedicating their trophy to those who dare to be themselves and need to be heard.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Controversy and Protests Mar Eurovision 2024 in Sweden

Controversy and Protests Mar Eurovision 2024 in Sweden

The 68th Eurovision Song Contest, held in Malmö, Sweden, has been overshadowed by controversy, protests, and backstage tension, culminating in the disqualification of the Netherlands' contestant and Switzerland's Nemo emerging as the winner.

Why this matters: The controversy surrounding Israel's participation in Eurovision 2024 highlights the ongoing debate about the intersection of politics and art, raising questions about the role of international events in promoting dialogue and understanding. As thecontest's global audience grows, so does its potential to influence cultural and political discourse.

Israel's participation in the competition sparked large street protests, with thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marching through Malmö to demand a boycott of Israel and a cease-fire in the Gaza war. Israeli singer Eden Golan, 20, has become the focus of these protests, surrounded by security as she travels between her hotel and the contest venue.

The atmosphere backstage has been tense, with Irish contestant Bambie Thug launching a furious row about their "horrible experience" on the show after placing behind Israel in the final. Thug, who uses they/them pronouns, accused Israeli broadcaster KAN of breaking rules, inciting violence against them, and disobeying the rules. "And yeah, the broadcaster has disobeyed the rules, and I hope next year they won't be able to compete because of that... F the EBU, I don't even care anymore. F them," Thug said at a press conference.

Further controversy erupted when the Netherlands' act Joost Klein was disqualified hours before his performance, allegedly due to an incident involving a TV crew member. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) stated that Swedish police had investigated the incident and that Klein would not be competing in the Grand Final. The investigation has now concluded, and police expect to prosecute Klein for making illegal threats.

Despite the controversy swirling around the event, Switzerland's non-binary star Nemo won the competition with their song "The Code," an operatic pop-rap ode to their journey toward embracing a non-gender identity. Nemo dedicated their trophy to "people that are daring to be themselves and people that need to be heard and need to be understood," emphasizing the need for "more compassion, more empathy."

The EBU addressed complaints from contestants, stating that some delegations didn't respect the spirit of the rules. The organization's governing bodies will review the events surrounding the contest to ensure the values of the event are respected by everyone in the future. As Eurovision 2024 concludes, the controversies have left a cloud over the normally celebratory event, raising questions about how politics and social issues intersect with the long-running song competition.

Key Takeaways

  • Controversy surrounds Eurovision 2024, with protests and backstage tension.
  • Israel's participation sparks pro-Palestinian protests and boycott demands.
  • Netherlands' contestant Joost Klein is disqualified due to alleged threats.
  • Switzerland's Nemo wins with "The Code," a song about non-binary identity.
  • Eurovision organizers to review events to ensure respect for contest values.