Ireland's performance in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was removed from the broadcast in China because Ryan O'Shaughnessy's backup dancers portray a gay romance. O'Shaughnessy has responded with a #LoveisLove social media campaign.
UPDATE: In light of the censorship, Eurovision has terminated its contract with Mango TV in China.
In China, Eurovision has been broadcast since 2015 by Mango TV, the country's second-largest broadcaster. When they aired the contest's Tuesday semi-finals, in which Ireland victoriously made it through, Ireland's performance was nowhere to be seen. The station also omitted Albania's performance and took the measure of censoring and blurring out LGBT pride flags.
Ryan O'Shaughnessy's Ireland-repping performance of his song, Together, includes dancers Alan McGrath and Kevin O'Dwyer portraying a gay couple. He has said that he wanted to show that love is universal, and has launched a #LoveisLove social media campaign, encouraging fans to share a photo sitting with their beloved on a bench (as happens in the song).
Speaking about his song, O’Shaughnessy said: “My only intention was to help people see that love is just love, and there’s no difference – whether it’s between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man.
“It’s so important, because not everyone is as liberal as the people in this [Eurovision press conference] room are, and the people I’ve gotten to meet over the past week.
“It’s an important thing, and I’m very proud of my country for making that change a few weeks back. I know a lot of Irish people went home to vote for the referendum on same-sex marriage, and we’re bringing a new energy back to that topic.”
According to Independent.ie, the performance was aired in Russia but viewers were told it depicted "a close male friendship."