Late last week it was announced that popular German singer Xavier Naidoo would be representing the country in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), but not long after the decision was broadcast, the reception was anything but positive as his songs have been known to carry anti-Semitic and homophobic messages. Due to the backlash, ARD has reconsidered their decision and announced that he would no longer be singing for the ESC.
ARD’s entertainment coordinator Thomas Schreiber admitted that the network knew that Naidoo was known to polarize when they made their decision, but the level of reaction the announcement received went beyond anything they were expecting.
Some groups and individuals that know or have worked with Naidoo tried coming to the singers defense, stating that he never gave the slightest hint of being homophobic, racist or xenophobic, but Schreiber stated that the decision was based on the fact that any resulting discussions could seriously damage the reputation of the ESC.
While his words have been few, Naidoo himself has tried to defend his character, and on Saturday released a statement about the decision saying “My passion for music and my commitment to love, freedom, tolerance and cooperation has not been effected”.