It’s been an Up-and-Down whirlwind for Germany. First they announced that Xavier Naidoo was internally selected to represent Germany at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm. This was a controversial decision among the fans as he was accused of anti-semitism, Homophobia and other statements that were considered offensive by many.
The unexpected backlash by the media and fans resulted in a surprising withdrawal announcement. The German NDR announced that Xavier will NOT represent Germany. Thomas Schreiber, entertainment coordinator at ARD, made the following statement: “Xavier Naidoo is an on outstanding singer, who to my conviction, is neither a racist nor a homophobe. It was obvious that he is polarizing, but the impact of reactions surprised us. We underestimated it. The Eurovision Song Contest is a cheerful event, where Music and International Relations should be the Focus. Those characteristics need to be preserved. The ongoing discussions could be damaging to ESC. For that reason, Xavier Naidoo will not represent Germany. We will select a new option for Eurovision in STockholm as quickly as posible.”
As soon as the news hit the web, people had a lot of things to say about it.
Jan Feddersen, who works for the ARD and has his own blog on eurovision.de, was disappointed with the decision and defended Naidoo. He believes that he deserved a chance and that people had a stronger reaction to the German selection than they had with the Terrorist attacks in Paris a week ago.
Til Schweiger, a famous German actor, is also defending Xavier Naidoo: “…..I am devastated, how people are treating one of the biggest artists, who happens to be one of the nicest, funniest and kindest individuals in show business. Why all that that hate? Why the desire to destroy? What some of the media has been pulling here, is a form for terrorism. There are a lot Nazis in this country and just as many homophobes. You should worry about them, cause Xavier is not one of them. And why are politicians getting involved? Don’t we have other problems after Paris, Hannover and Mali? Good Night Germany!!!
Rolf Stahlhofen, a member of Soehne Mannheims, also joined in on the controversy defending his former band member and friend. He is questioning whether artistic freedom still exists or if that’s gone?
Plenty of other individuals in the music industry came to Naidoo’s defense as you can read HERE.
Xavier Naidoo commented on his Facebook page that this wasn’t his decision and that the broadcaster decided to withdraw the offer. However, he said that he is okay with the decision and will continue to fight for tolerance, freedom and togetherness.
Now that the decision has been made, how did the fans react?
As expected, a lot of people came to his support:
Xavier Naidoo has made love to my ear drums for 20 years. He’s a musical genius & I would have loved to see him represent Germany at the ESC
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 21, 2015
Previously an online petition was started with the intent to pressure the broadcaster to withdraw Naidoo from the contest. In the light of recent events, another petition surfaced online. But this time it’s the other way around and fans are urging the broadcaster to bring back Xavier Naidoo. The petition currently has 1350 supporters but it’s unlikely that NDR will go back on their decision.
As expected, the majority of comments online were celebratory showing that Social Media does have an impact and that the fans’ voices can make a difference.
What are your thoughts? Make sure to join the conversation on our Forum, where your thoughts and opinions are being highlighted by us on a regular basis. What is going to happen next in the German Eurovision world? Stay tuned!