Ireland’s performance – featuring singer Ryan O’Shaughnessy and two male dancers who acted out an LGBT love story – is understood to have been pulled from the broadcast, while rainbow flags in the audience were blurred.
Albania’s act, Eugent Bushpepa, was also pulled, possibly because the singer sported visible tattoos. China recently restricted the display of tattoos on TV.
“On the 9th of May, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV broadcast the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest live but two performances were censored,” the EBU said in a statement.
“This is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music. It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second Semi-Final or the Grand Final.”
Irish singer O’Shaughnessy welcomed the EBU’s decision during a BBC Eurovision interview.
“From the very start we’ve said love is love – doesn’t matter whether it’s between two guys, two girls or a guy and a girl. So I think this is a really important decision by the EBU, and they haven’t taken this lightly. I think it’s a move in the right direction so I’m happy about it,” he said.
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will air on BBC1 on Saturday 12th May from 8pm. It will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 from 8pm