Chinese broadcaster Mango TV has been banned from televising the Eurovision Song Contest.
The broadcaster was dropped by contest bosses the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) after censoring two performances during Tuesday’s semi-final.
“On the 9th of May, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV broadcast the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest live but two performances were censored,” the EBU said in a statement.
“This is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.
“It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second Semi-Final or the Grand Final.”
Ireland performed in the first semi-final earlier this week, with singer Ryan O’Shaughnessy taking to the stage to perform the ballad “Together”.
The entry featured two dancers Kevin O’Dwyer and Alan McGrath (pictured), who re-enacted a gay love story on stage.
But O’Shaughnessy’s entire performance was removed from the Chinese broadcast.
China’s strict broadcasting guidelines ban “abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”
The entire Albanian performance was also cut from the Chinese broadcast for violating a ban on showing tattoos on TV and rainbow flags visible in the crowd were also blurred, according to Chinese Eurovision fans and media reports.
O’Shaughnessy said that he welcomed the EBU’s ban.
“From the very start we have just said love is love,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s between two guys and two girls or a guy and a girl.
“I think it’s a really important decision by the EBU, they haven’t taken it lightly, and I think it’s a move in the right direction… I’m happy about it.”
On Friday morning local time, Australia’s Eurovision entrant Jessica Mauboy advanced us into the competition’s grand final for the fourth consecutive year.
As well as Australia, the 10 other countries to make the cut in the second semi final were Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia and the Netherlands.
The grand final will be held this Sunday (May 13) local time.