Monday, 15 May 2017

Eurovision Failing to Celebrate Diversity - A Rant

So, as you guys know, last Saturday was my birthday and, to celebrate it, I had a lovely chill out day with my other half and, in the evening, went round neighbours to watch this year's Eurovision. (We agreed to do this last year before we realised it fell on the same day). It's going to be fun, silly and a good laugh, right? 

Oh... how my chill went flying out of the window within the first 5 minutes of Eurovision. And I spent the entire evening swearing at the telly (much to my neighbours shock. I swore more times in that 3 and half hour period than I have in the two-ish years I have known them!).

Why, I hear you ask. Because of so many things. But it comes down to one HUGE thing. 

This year's theme for Eurovision was "Celebrating Diversity". And guess what? DIVERSITY WASN'T CELEBRATED! 

We had three white male hosts hosting the event (this is a first from what I could research). Barring the singer for Australia, all the singers were white and able-bodied (Australia's singer is aboriginal). And, from what I saw, there was only two backing dancers/singers who were black. There was no one that I could see who was wearing a headscarf or reflect their faith. There are rumours that one of the singers involved has been accused of being homophobic and, because Eurovision tries to be political unbiased (ignore the votes, everyone!), there was no signs of LGBT+ on stage (maybe the Italian entry with the rainbow stripes on his sleeves. But that is kinda taken away due to the man in an ape outfit, dancing next to him. Make of that what you will...). 

I could go on. I could even point out that, during the point giving part of the show, one of the hosts thought it was ok to ask for a female hosts for their phone numbers. Not one, but three times and each time, the female hosts laughed it off but you can sense that they were uncomfortable. 

Basically, the fact that this show was celebrating diversity, it failed in a spectacular fashion. 

We all saw. And it was all we could talk about on social media! 

We all saw it and we all spoke about it. So why did it upset and anger me so much? 

Because it comes back to this idea that diversity is a buzzword. That there are people who see the term diversity as a fashionable issue to talk about now (until the next buzzword comes along). 

I've spoken about my views on this before on Luna's Little Library so won't go into it again. But SERIOUSLY?! Are we having this discussion again? 

We live in a world full of diversity. And this should be celebrate. So when you're going to celebrate it,  CELEBRATE IT AND SHOW US! 

The BBC did better with diversity on Eurovision through the semi-finals and the finals. Barring our singer, we had 4 hosts (if we include Katrina Leskanich who gave out our points this year). And while they were all white, all were over the age of 40, two of them were women and the two of them were gay. Plus, the ident that the BBC aired before Eurovision had more diversity within 30 seconds than Eurovision showed in over 3 hours. When this happens, you know there's a problem...

Now, I know I might be wrong on some of my info and hell, I still need to educate myself on diversity and I will sometimes get it wrong. But we need to champion diversity, regardless of gender, skin, religion, sexual identity. Diversity isn't a buzzword, isn't a flash in the pan. It's a long road and we've only just started... 

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