Eurovision 2024 was “gay p*rn on steroids,” according to conservatives

We always knew Eurovision as the Gay Olympics, but we never dared dream it’d one day become a “gay p*rn film on steroids.” That, at least, is how one UK journalist—longing for some imaginary time when the international singing competition wasn’t camp as hell—described it on live TV.

On a May 14 episode of TalkTV, host Julia Hartley-Brewer descended into a rant over how sexualized Eurovision (really, music in general) has all of a sudden become. “Apparently, it’s not Eurovision any more,” she said. “It’s no longer a happy, fun, family viewing contest. Now it’s basically a sadomasochist, gay p*rn film on steroids.”

Hartley-Brewer, a frequent contributor to conservative outlets The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail, recently refused to recognize a nonbinary journalist’s pronouns live on air. Regardless, she went on to claim, “I am no Mary Whitehouse — I’m very liberal on an awful lot of these things — but I have to say I was really shocked by some of the performances, some of the outfits, the blatant, sort of, S&M bondage outfits that were on display, the cavorting on stage.”

“And yes, I care about it, whether it’s straight or gay kind of p*rn,” she made sure to point out.

Hartley-Brewer again lamented how the show is no longer for families, before getting to the heart of her complaints: out singer Olly Alexander

“Even our own entry, Olly Alexander, it was basically a load of gay sex acts in a public toilet,” she said. The Years & Years frontman performed the song Dizzy, dancing with a troupe of shirtless men on a stage resembling a locker room. Hip thrusts were thrown, but “gay p*rn” it definitely wasn’t—take it from someone who’s seen their fair share.

But it’s no wonder conservatives like Hartley-Brewer are riled up. This year’s Eurovision was especially queer, from Grindr notifications interrupting a live broadcast to the first ever nonbinary winner, Switzerland’s Nemo.

All the same, there were more legitimate reasons for controversy at Eurovision. Israel’s participation in spite of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war prompted calls for national boycotts. Alexander responded to Queers for Palestine in a statement uploaded to social media, reiterating his call for a ceasefire but saying, “It is my current belief that removing myself from the contest wouldn’t bring us any closer to our shared goal.”

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