Hundreds of queer artists call for Olly Alexander to boycott Eurovision

Their letter follows a number of countries and organisations lobbying for a mass boycott of the event due to Israel's place in the competition

Hundreds of queer artists, musicians and writers have signed a letter calling for Britain’s Eurovision entry Ollie Alexander to boycott this year’s competition.

Their letter comes after a number of countries and organisations lobbied for a mass boycott of the event due to Israel’s involvement in the competition.

Israel made its debut at the contest in 1973 as the first non-European country. It was granted permission to participate as it was a member of the European Broadcast Union.

But anger has grown over Israel’s military actions in Gaza, where more than 30,000 people have been killed – many of them women and children.

The war began on October 7 when Hamas militant group stormed Israel, killing 1,200 people.

The letter, signed by over 450 artists, reads: “By refusing to expel Israel from the competition, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is providing cultural cover and endorsement for the catastrophic violence that Israel has unleashed on Palestinians.

“There can be no party with a state committing apartheid and genocide.

“We ask you to heed the call from Palestinians and commit not to perform at Eurovision while it provides cultural cover for an ongoing genocide,”

While Years and Years star Alexander has signed a letter in support of Palestine, he has stopped short of boycotting the competition entirely.

He is to perform his song “Dizzy” at the competition in Sweden’s Malmö Rådhus, in the grand Eurovision final on Saturday, May 11.

Alexander is yet to comment on the letter.

Eden Golan, Israel’s 2024 entry. / Credit: Eurovision

Despite the protests, Israel has secured its place in the competition, with their entry Eden and her song October Rain.

The 20-year-old already faced controversy over her song lyrics.

Israel was told the lyrics of its leading submission for Eurovision had to be changed following the song’s ban for breaking rules on political neutrality.

They included words such as: “They were all good children, each one of them,” seemingly referencing the Hamas’ October 7 incursion into Israel when 1,200 people were killed.

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