Viewers have lashed out at X Factor Malta after it aired an audition of a man, who said he used to be gay before becoming a Christian.
Grech’s audition was aired on YouTube and Facebook, but the footage has since been removed following criticism.
“I used to lead a homosexual lifestyle, and then I found God,” Grech said in the video.
“For a long time I stopped following my passions to follow Jesus. There can be love between two men and two women, yes—but only friendship love. Everything else is a sin.”
In his audition, Grech sang Black Eyed Peas’ “Where Is The Love?” in a group with two other singers.
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Three out of the four judges gave Grech a “yes” vote, but none of them commented on his anti-gay remarks.
The advertising or promotion of gay conversion therapy has been illegal in Malta since 2016.
Viewers have criticised X Factor Malta for showing the audition.
One person wrote on Facebook: “X Factor Malta should issue an apology for airing a contestant who’s homophobic/religious beliefs were given so much prominence on TVM. I was almost expecting him to sing ‘You raise me up’…oh and ‘Matthew, you were, are and will remain Gay and that’s a non-issue for us, hope it will become the same for you…”
Another person said: “Can we please STOP giving these converted gay creeps air time on Maltese TV PLEASE?!…I am NOT gonna stand here and watch and damage happen.”
One viewer exclaimed: “Someone enlighten me on how X Factor Malta decided it would be a good idea to keep in clips of a contestant’s audition tape in which he states that a relationship should only be between a man and a woman – something he learnt after deciding to follow a religious path.”
And a Facebook user vented: “With all due respect, but why would X Factor Malta air gay conversion messages out of context?
“Don’t they know how harmful, confusing and dangerous such messages are to young LGBT+ persons in the process of coming out? Or is the support for their community limited only to the stage of Gay Pride festivals and Eurovision?”
The same episode also included an audition with a woman called Kim Cortis, who spoke about her engagement to her female partner.