FYR Macedonia – According to a story broken on wiwibloggs.com, the Serbian website www.kurir-info.rs is reporting that FYR Macedonia‘s Esma Redžepova has blamed gay men for her lack of qualification. The story can be seen here. It claims that the “gay lobby behind the contest” was the reason for her failure to qualify. Further homophobic comments have been attributed to her. She is quoted as saying,
“This is an outrage! Faggots! This event has been taken over by those who run gay pride parades all over the world. I had heard it all before but that was the first time I saw with my own eyes what’s become of this wonderful music competition. No wonder we did not qualify as it is clear who goes there.”
Esma is alleged to have also claimed that her partner Vlatko Lozanoski “was not even allowed to leave the hotel, let alone go to the Euroclub”, for fear of being inappropriately touched and his ass grabbed!
If this report is true, how terribly sad that such disgraceful homophobia has been shown. Maybe they should take a good long hard look at their song before slinging such outdated and prejudicial homophobic nonsense around as sore losers. We sincerely hope this is not what Esma said.
UPDATE: Release from Mcedonian Head of Delegation
I have been asked to write on behalf of Esma regarding the false media stories that are circulating in a number of Eurovision Song Contest fan website alleging that Esma is homophobic. The story published in the Serbian tabloid newspaper ‘Kurir’ is a complete fabrication. On behalf of Esma, her management and the Macedonian Delegation for Eurovision, we strongly repudiate these falsehoods. Apart from an interview that will be published on escxtra.com this weekend, Esma has not given any other interviews to media since her return to Macedonia.
Esma does not follow any of the Eurovision fan sites, Facebook, twitter, etc. and was most distressed when she was told this morning of this false story. As a Romany she is particularly sensitive to the percussion of all minorities. She 100% supports the gay community, and has a strong believe that everyone may live their lives as they choose. Esma has a many gay friends, whom she respects and supports. Her own personal principles are that all people should be free to make their own choices so they can live free happy and fulfilled lives.
Esma’s management team are concerned about the damage this false story may cause to Esma’s personal and professional reputation. With this in mind we ask that all stories published on your respective websites relating to these falsehoods should be immediately amended and include this rebuttal.
As far as Lozano is concerned, I can personally confirm that he enjoyed many evenings in both Eruoclub and Eurocafe during his time in Malmo. He particularly enjoyed the Balkan Music Night and the Closing Party. Again the comments written about him in the ‘Kurir’ newspaper are utter nonsense!
Assistant HoD – Macedonia