Germany withdraws Eurovision contender after uproar on anti-Semitic, homophobic lyrics

Xavier Naidoo had rejected criticism of his nomination.

November 21, 2015 18:27
1 minute read.
German singer Xavier Naidoo

German singer Xavier Naidoo. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


BERLIN - Germany withdrew its contender for next year's Eurovision song contest on Saturday following a backlash from critics who accuse the R&B artist of using anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs in his songs.

Xavier Naidoo, a singer of Indian and African heritage whose albums have sold millions, was selected as Germany's candidate by public broadcaster ARD on Thursday, but the uproar in newspapers and social media prompted a swift change of heart.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

"Xavier Naidoo is a wonderful singer who isn't racist or homophobic in my view," ARD executive Thomas Schreiber said in a statement. "It was clear that he is someone who polarizes but the ferocity of the reactions surprised us. We misjudged."

Top-selling newspaper Bild questioned the choice of Naidoo on its front page on Friday. Anetta Kahane, founder of well-known anti-racism group the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, described his selection as "problematic".

Reacting to the decision to withdraw his nomination, the 44-year-old musician said on Facebook it was "okay for me" and stressed that ARD had urged him to compete in the first place.

Earlier in the week he rejected criticism of his nomination, saying he represented a Germany that was "open to the world" and tolerant of different religions and lifestyles.

Naidoo's 2012 song "Wo sind" (Where Are) was widely criticized in Germany for lyrics that linked homosexuals and paedophiles.


When Germany marked the 25th anniversary of reunification last year, he appeared at a rally of the Reichsbuerger group, which wants a German Reich based on pre-World War Two borders.

In another song released after the 2008 financial crisis, Naidoo refers to the German-Jewish Rothschild banking family as "Baron Deadschild" and uses the word "schmock", a derogatory term in Yiddish.

Scandal and political controversy are common at the Eurovision song contest, a kitsch mix of pop and geopolitics that is watched by millions in Europe and beyond.

Germany, which came last in this year's competition with zero points, will name a new contender as soon as possible, Schreiber from the ARD broadcaster said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A London black cab taxi drives past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in late afternoon sunlight
November 15, 2018
London Jewish taxi drivers give Holocaust rescuers free rides