Russian officials have made scathing remarks about Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision Song Contest victory.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, known for his anti-Western views, slammed the choice of Wurst as the contest’s winner in a post on his Twitter account: “Eurovision showed European integrators their Euro-prospect — a bearded girl.”
Vitaly Milonov, a conservative deputy at St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly who penned the city’s “law against gay propaganda” several years ago, went even further, suggesting that Russian singers should no longer compete at Eurovision alongside the likes of Wurst and that the Austrian singer, who performs as a bearded drag queen, should be banned from touring Russia.
After making unsuccessful calls to cancel the broadcast of Eurovision in Russia on the grounds that it “propagandizes homosexuality,” Milonov sent a letter to the Russian Eurovision organizing committee asking them to boycott the contest in the future. “The participation of apparently transvestite and hermaphrodite Conchita Wurst on the same stage as Russian artists live on TV is blatant propaganda of homosexuality and moral degradation,” he wrote in the address.
Later, he addressed Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, asking him to ban Wurst from performing in the country. “Allowing him to the Russian territory would be more than criminal negligence,” Milonov’s press service quoted him as saying.
However, the culture ministry said it could not ban Wurst from entering Russia. “Banning bearded women or men from visiting Russia is outside the competence of the culture ministry,” its press service said in a statement.
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.