The BBC has come under fire for not showing a dance routine designed to highlight the plight of refugees in Europe.
The dance, entitled ‘The Grey People’, was performed during the intermission of last night’s Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals, but British viewers instead watched comedy sketches performed by the show’s British hosts. The slot was also filled with an interview with the British entrants in this years competition.
Gay community news outlet Pink News claimed the decision not to show the dance routine was “surprising,” given its popularity with audiences elsewhere in Europe. They also claimed that British viewers would not “know anything about it” thanks to the omission.
But a spokesman for the BBC refuted both these points, telling Breitbart London: “The BBC opts out of the main broadcast at various points and has not shown the semi-final interval act for a number of years.
“Viewers in the UK who want to watch uninterrupted coverage of what is happening in the stadium can do so via eurovision.tv, as mentioned on air live during the broadcast last night.”
— BBC Eurovision (@bbceurovision) 10 May 2016
The organisers of this year’s show, to be hosted by Sweden, announced that the contest was to have a “Come Together” theme focusing on the so-called “refugee crisis.”
Co-host Måns Zelmerlöw said: “It is more necessary than ever before that we unite and join together, and that is literally what we do in Eurovision, where most of the countries in Europe meet together. We obviously want to touch upon it: anything else would be to bury your head in the sand.”
Last year 163,000 asylum claimants arrived in Sweden, the third highest total in Europe in absolute terms. As Sweden has a local population of just 9.5 million, the country tops the charts for asylum seekers per head of population. It has also been dubbed the “rape capital of the West.”
The increasingly multicultural nature of the contest in recent years has been met with concern in some quarters. Conservatively minded Russia has proven particularly resistant to Eurovision, with one politician dismissing it as a “sodom show” and “repulsive” by the head of the Russian Orthodox church.
A Russian parlimentarian has now launched a competitor, dubbed Goodvision, which will focus on traditional folk music and dancing rather than sexualised pop, which is hoped will be more family friendly viewing, as reported by Breitbart London.
Follow Donna Rachel Edmunds on Twitter: Follow @Donna_R_E or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org