Racism blamed for lack of success in Britain
London, June 23 (ANI): Senior figures linked to a number of former UK entries for the Eurovision Song Contest have claimed that Britain's lack of success is down to racism.
Since 2005, UK acts including Javine Hylton, Andy Abraham, Jade Ewen, and boyband Blue have done badly in the contest, despite strong performances.
Several industry figures, who spoke on conditions on anonymity, said they had experienced racism behind the scenes of the annual contest.
They also said that they had openly been told that acts featuring ethnic minorities would not be supported by many of the voting nations.
Now several industry figures are pressing the BBC to cut ties with the competition for good.
"We were told repeatedly when we were touring our song around Europe that we didn't have a chance because of the race factor," the Daily Mail quoted one, who wished not to be named, as saying.
"'We didn't believe it at the time. Then on the night our vote was very low in certain countries. Organisers were very open that there is a track record for some nations refusing to cast votes for acts featuring ethnic minorities.
"We found the entire experience devastating and strongly believe the UK needs to withdraw. It's a joke," the one said.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is also believed to have been caught up in the Eurovision race debate. He co-wrote the song that Jade Ewen, who has a Jamaican mother, came fifth with in 2009.
"Jade won a TV talent show in the UK to perform Andrew's song. Andrew lobbied for her around the Eurovision countries before the contest," a member of the UK team of that year said.
"At least once he was asked at a press conference why he had "cast a black girl" because it meant he could never win.
"He was so shocked, he had to ask several times for a translator to repeat the question," the member said.
A spokesman for anti-racism group Hope Not Hate also commented on this.
"These reports are very troubling," the spokesman said.
"If people are being awarded nul point on the basis of their performance is one thing. But if it's because of the colour of their skin that's a disgrace.
"We would hope the organisers of the contest will urgently look into these disturbing allegations," the spokesperson added. (ANI)
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