MBN

NEWS

Eurovision axes Dutch entry Joost Klein after controversy over 'incident'

The man who got The Godfather made – by making friends with the Mob
Published Time: 11.05.2024 - 14:42:04 Modified Time: 11.05.2024 - 14:42:04

The singer has been questioned by police following an incident concerning a female Eurovision production worker and this means he has broken competition rules, organisers say

The singer has been questioned by police following an incident concerning a female Eurovision production worker and this means he has broken competition rules, organisers say.

Saturday 11 May 2024 12:38, UK

Eurovision has kicked out the Netherlands' entrant following a controversy over an 'incident' he was involved in.

Joost Klein was alleged to have made verbal threats to a female Eurovision production worker at the event's venue in Malmo, Sweden, on Thursday night.

Eurovision organisers quashed widespread rumours that it was linked to Israel's delegation, saying: "We would like to make it clear that, contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said: "We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment for all staff at the contest.

"In light of this, Joost Klein's behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of contest rules."

Dutch broadcaster Avrotros said on X that Klein's disqualification was "disproportionate", while the Netherlands' delegation said it was "shocked" by the decision.

Swedish police said in a statement: "A man is suspected of making unlawful threats at the Malmo Arena on Thursday evening.

"The man has been questioned by the police but not detained. The complainant is an employee at Eurovision. The police have questioned the suspect, complainant and witnesses."

Klein, 26, had failed to perform at two dress rehearsals on Friday, as the EBU said it was investigating an "incident."

Around 180 million people around the world are expected to watch 25 entrants slug it out in tonight's final, with Croatia and Switzerland among those tipped to take the trophy, ahead of UK entry Olly Alexander, with his track Dizzy, and Ireland's Bambie Thug.

Klein had been due to perform his track Europapa, a happy-hardcore inspired song dismissed by one critic as "so bad" it will "put you off music forever", but which was nonetheless one of the favourites to win.

Protests have dogged the competition over Israel's inclusion amid the war in Gaza.

There are more pro-Palestinian protests planned in Malmo on Saturday evening to coincide with the grand final, amid the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Over the last few months, there have been demonstrations and calls for acts to boycott the show, after the EBU refused to remove Israel from the competition, insisting it had broken no broadcasting rules.

On Thursday, 10,000-12,000 people, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, took to the streets of the city to call for Israel to be excluded.

Read more from Sky News:Bambie Thug calls for Eurovision 'humanity'Police officer shot with crossbowDjokovic hit in head by water bottle

Ms Thunberg, 21, claimed Israel is trying to "artwash" Eurovision, referencing the use of artistic performance to distract from perceived negative actions by people, groups, governments or countries.

Sky News footer

NEWS