A Chinese online broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 on Tuesday blacked out two performances allegedly containing tattoo and LGBT elements, which in the past months had been reportedly banned online or on TV in China.
Two songs in the contest, Albania’s “Mall” and Ireland’s “Together” were removed from the two hour-long edited version of the contest’s first semi-final aired Wednesday on mgtv.com, a website linked to popular Chinese broadcaster Hunan TV.
Chinese netizens believe the two performances were removed on purpose as the performers of “Mall” sport tattoos, while the Irish song describes a gay relationship.
A rainbow flag in the crowd, which represents the LGBT community, was also been blurred in the broadcast.
Hunan TV owns the rights to broadcast the show in the Chinese mainland.
Eurovision Song Contest 2018, the show’s 63rd edition, is being held in Lisbon, Portugal with 43 participating countries. The second semi-final will be on May 10 and the final on May 12.
In January, the Chinese media watchdog banned tattoos and several other subculture elements from being broadcast, a move that sparked heated discussions.
A Chinese music festival reportedly banned artists from showing their tattoos on stage in April, after players on the Chinese national soccer team covered their tattoos during games in March.
Chinese social media Sina Weibo imposed a ban in April on gay-themed content to “purify” the online environment. The ban was withdrawn several days later.