France ‘threatening to boycott Eurovision’ over Israeli TV show
France has reportedly threatened to boycott Eurovision 2019 over an Israeli TV programme which shows a French contestant being coerced into terrorism.
The satire, which is set to be screened at some point in May on public TV station KAN, shows French ISIS agents blackmailing France’s Eurovision contestant into carrying out an attack on the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, The Jerusalem Post newspaper has reported.
Watch the trailer for Douze Points here:
The main character in Douze Points is France’s Eurovision entrant, TJ, a gay Muslim man whose family is from North Africa—just like Bilal Hassani, who last month won the honour of representing France in May.
France responds to Eurovision Douze Points controversy
Speaking to French newspaper 20 Minutes, a spokesman for France Télévisions confirmed that the show had been part of discussions with Israeli broadcasters.
He said: “No false controversy. The entire French delegation is working alongside Bilal Hassani for the Tel Aviv final on May 18th. We are in regular contact with the EBU, which exchanges with all Eurovision partners, including the KAN channel.
“In the context of these exchanges between the EBU and KAN, the Douze Points project, which we learned about last week, has been mentioned.”
KAN told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday (February 21): “We’re planning to air the show, it has long been planned to be part of our Eurovision programming.
“The French delegation didn’t say anything to us about it—but the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said it had heard that they were concerned.”
The European Broadcasting Union is talking to Israel and France about Douze Points
The EBU told PinkNews that it was “aware of a ‘comedy-drama’ currently in production in Israel (for KAN) about an event similar to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC).
“Freedom of expression is of paramount importance to the EBU as is the reputation of the Eurovision Song Contest.
“ISIS members are the biggest homophobes in the world, hating gay people more than anyone does, which shows their stupidity.”
— Douze Points co-creator Yoav Hebel
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“It is essential that the EBU safeguards both of these on behalf of its members, not least all participating broadcasters and contestants,” the statement continued.
“The EBU is engaged in constructive discussions with Eurovision Song Contest 2019 hosts KAN about the production to ensure a mutually satisfactory outcome.
“The EBU remains in close contact with the French delegation and ESC host broadcaster KAN about this year’s event and the proposed comedy-drama Douze Points.”
Speaking to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Douze Points co-creator Yoav Hebel said that the show “laughs hardest at homophobia.”
“ISIS members are the biggest homophobes in the world, hating gay people more than anyone does, which shows their stupidity,” said Hebel.