Germany has withdrawn its contestant, the R&B artist Xavier Naidoo, from the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest at Stockholm.
This recent revision comes after backlash to Germany’s public broadcaster’s association, the ARD and their decision to nominate Naidoo in the first place.
Naidoo has previously been accused of using anti-Semitic slurs and homophobic language in his songs. Bild, Germany’s popular newspaper, as well as the anti-racism organization Amadeu Antonio Foundation have already publicly criticized the original nomination.
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In a press release, ARD exec. Thomas Schreiber stated, “Xavier Naidoo is a brilliant singer who is, according to my own opinion, neither racist nor homophobe. It was clear that his nomination would polarise opinions, but we were surprised about the negative response.”
Schreiber added that, “The Eurovision Song Contest is a fun event, in which music and the understanding between European people should be the focus. This characteristic must be kept at all costs. The ongoing discussion about Naidoo could harm the image of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
In a statement given on Naidoo’s Facebook page, he expressed how the ARD had approached him to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest and that he remains committed to tolerance and love.
The ARD are now in the process of finding its next contender.