Germany withdraws Eurovision contender Xavier Naidoo

22 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Eurovision 2016: Xavier Naidoo Withdrawn as Germany’s Representative.

Germany has been forced to withdraw its Eurovision contender for next year’s contest after facing a massive backlash from protestors over their selection. When Ford Riley was tasked with adding a new TV project to Disney’s treasured — and lucrative — “Lion King” screen and stage franchise, he knew he had to do right by it.

HAMBURG, GERMANY – The planned German representative for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest Xavier Naidoo won’t be singing for the country, as broadcaster NDR has withdrawn a proposal to send the singer to Stockholm, following a public backlash. R n B star Xavier Naidoo had been announced as the act they would be putting forward for the annual competition but reactions to the news have been fierce, with many believing Naidoo’s previous songs promote anti-Semitism and homophobia.

Xavier Naidoo, a singer of Indian and African heritage whose albums have sold millions, was selected as Germany’s candidate by public broadcaster ARD on Thursday, but the uproar in newspapers and social media prompted a swift change of heart. “Xavier Naidoo is a wonderful singer who isn’t racist or homophobic in my view,” ARD executive Thomas Schreiber said in a statement. “It was clear that he is someone who polarises but the ferocity of the reactions surprised us. Mulling the original 1994 animated movie and its 1998 home video sequel, Riley decided that creating another offspring for lion king Simba and mate Nala would open up a world of possibilities.

In an earlier song released in 2008, Naidoo referred to the German-Jewish Rothschild family as ‘Baron Deadschild’, and also used the word ‘schmock’, which is a derogatory Yiddish term. But if she had a kid brother — a furry version of England’s Prince Harry, runner-up to older sibling William in the crown sweepstakes — what would his fate be? “I’ve got two kids, and it seems like in storytelling the second-born never gets a really good job. A statement was given by ESC Germany’s creator director Thomas Schreiber, in which he expressed his opinion that the allegations made towards the 44-year-old were not true.

Reacting to the decision to withdraw his nomination, the 44-year-old musician said on Facebook it was “OK for me” and stressed that ARD had urged him to compete in the first place. However, he went on to say that the high level of uproar forced NDR’s hand in the matter, and in order to maintain the contest’s reputation as a fun, tolerant event, Naidoo had to be cut from the lineup. Earlier in the week he rejected criticism of his nomination, saying he represented a Germany that was “open to the world” and tolerant of different religions and lifestyles.

So Riley created male cub Kion as the star of both a Disney Channel movie, “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar” airing today and the Disney Junior series “The Lion Guard,” debuting in January. When Germany marked the 25th anniversary of reunification last year, he appeared at a rally of the Reichsbuerger group, which wants a German Reich based on pre-World War Two borders.

The writer-producer hit on an important job for Kion: Protector of his family’s African savannah “Pride Lands” and its circle of life (just try not to hum the tune). To build a security force, he turns to his talented best buddies, a varied group who are among nature’s fiercest, fastest, strongest and sharpest-eyed.

While honoring the original film’s “epic storytelling,” Riley said, the new project also carries “a definite message of diversity with these different animals learning how to work together.” The movie’s voice cast includes James Earl Jones and Ernie Sabella, reprising their original big-screen roles as Mufasa and Pumbaa; Rob Lowe as Simba; Gabrielle Union as Nala; Max Charles as Kion, and Eden Riegel as Kiara. Although undoubtedly a popular and successful artist, Naidoo’s reputation of being a “homophobic nationalist” as the German press referred to him, as well as having a tendency towards violent lyrics regarding sexual abuse of children, and having previously issued anti-Semitic remarks, eventually caught up to him and he is very much black-listed among much of the Eurovision community.

Germany, which came last in this year’s competition with zero points, will name a new contender as soon as possible, Schreiber from the ARD broadcaster said. A full-scale investigation launched against him for said lyrics in 2012 did nothing to help this matter, and the general consensus when his participation was revealed was that it was a shocking and blatantly unacceptable choice, given his history. Some ESC fans have compared his situation to that of 2015’s winner, Swedish artist Mans Zelmerlow, who also faced allegations of anti-gay standings, after a translation of the word “deviant” from Swedish to English in regards to his feelings on homosexuality went viral and he was slammed with criticism.

Disney declined to provide figures for the franchise’s financial prowess, which includes a reported worldwide box-office gross of about $1 billion for the original movie and $6.2 billion for the stage show alone. Most, however, feel that the two circumstances are extremely far off from each other, given the extremity of Naidoo’s views and the fact that Zelmerlow’s statement was a matter of mis-translation, and he has outwardly stated that he would engage in a relationship with another man should the right person come along. Barry Atkinson, an artist who worked on the original “Lion King,” was brought in to help with the background and “make it feel lush, like the Pride Lands did in the movie,” Riley said.

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