Hungary withdraws from Eurovision Song Contest 'because it's too gay'

Hungary allegedly withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest because it is ‘too gay’ for the country’s right-wing government.

The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam will be the first time Hungary will not compete since 2010, with the country competing 19 times since 1993.

And according to sources, rising homophobic rhetoric in Hungary is the reason for their withdrawal this year.

A source from MTVA, the national broadcaster, told the Guardian that the assumption amongst employees is that Eurovision’s connection to LGBTQ+ culture is the reason that Hungary will not be competing – although no specific reason has been given.

They said: ‘I was not surprised. It comes from the organisational culture of MTVA.’

MTVA said in a statement of their decision: ‘Instead of taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, we will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly.’

However, the Hungarian website cited sources from the public media saying that the decision was likely made because Eurovision is ‘too gay’.

A rep from Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán called the claims ‘fake news’.

This comes as András Bencsik, a prominent TV commentator and editor of the pro-government magazine Magyar Demokrata, called Eurovision a ‘homosexual flotilla’.

He said: ‘I welcome the decision, including from a mental health perspective, that Hungary will not take part in the homosexual flotilla that this international song competition has been reduced to.

‘Many young people thought that this is something for people under 18, but at this event the destruction of public taste takes place with screaming transvestites and bearded women.’

Prime minister Orbán has launched a ‘family first’ policy to boost birth rates and help ‘traditional’ families, while he has repeatedly stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

And László Kövér, the speaker of the Hungarian parliament, compared same-sex adoption to paedophilia, saying: ‘Morally, there is no difference between the behaviour of a paedophile and the behaviour of someone who demands such things.’

Hungary have had five top 10 finishes at Eurovision over the years, with their highest placing coming in 1994, when Friderika Bayer came fourth with Kinek mondjam el vétkeimet?

Joci Pápai represented Hungary for the second time in 2019, following his eighth place finish in 2017, but failed to qualify for the finals with his song Az én apám.

The Eurovision Broadcasting Union noted that many countries take breaks in participation, and said: ‘We hope to welcome their broadcaster MTVA back to the Eurovision song contest family soon.’

A total of 41 countries will compete at Eurovision in the Netherlands next year, with Bulgaria and Ukraine both returning to the contest after breaks in participation.

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