Germany retracts its Eurovision choice for Stockholm 2016
While Xavier Naidoo was chosen by German broadcaster NDR to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, the choice has now been withdrawn.
This decision was made public in a press release today, just two days after the announcement.
Xavier Naidoo was to have his song chosen by the German public on February 18, but controversy has been flourishing since NDR made its choice public. A string of bizarre statements made in the past few years, from questioning the 9/11 terror attacks to comparing gay people to pedophiles, have come back to haunt him.
From the press release, it appears that the broadcaster was well aware of Xavier’s history, but did not anticipate the overwhelmingly negative response. “Xavier Naidoo is an outstanding singer, who is not a racist, neither a homophobe. It was clear that he would be polarizing, but the force of it surprised us and we misjudged. The Eurovision Song Contest is a joyous event, where music and understanding between cultures are in focus. These characteristics must be preserved and this on-going discussion could damage the contest. It is for that reason that Xavier Naidoo will no longer represent Germany. The decision of who the German representative will be will be decided as soon as possible,” said Thomas Schreiber of NDR.
It is OK
For the person in the center of it all, the response is calm. “It is OK for me. My passion for music and my commitment to love, freedom, tolerance, and people, will not be stopped,” he posted on his Facebook page.
In Vienna, Germany was represented by Ann Sophie and the song “Black Smoke,” after the national final winner Andreas Kümmert did not accept the trophy.