Germany – A press release issued this afternoon by NDR states that it has reconsidered its announcement that Xavier Naidoo would be its representative in Stockholm and will now send someone else instead.
NDR was certainly not prepared it seems for the backlash upon the original announcement, with Naidoo being accused of racism and homophobia by many. Tens of thousands people supported online petitions against sending Naidoo to ESC.
Thomas Schreiber, ARD entertainment coordinator and head of the program area fiction and entertainment in the NDR said:
“Xavier Naidoo is an outstanding singer who I am convinced is neither homophobic or racist. It was clear that he polarized opinion, but the brunt of the reactions surprised us. We have misjudged. The Eurovision Song Contest is a fun event where the music and international understanding should be the focus. This character must be preserved. The ongoing discussions could cause the ESC serious harm. For this reason, Xavier Naidoo will not represent Germany. We will respond as soon as possible to decide how the German contribution for the ESC in Stockholm is found.”