Israel delays Eurovision terror satire after complaints

KAN will push off broadcast of show featuring gay, Muslim, French singer until after competition in May.

A scene from the KAN show 'Douze Points' (photo credit: KAN 11/FIRMA FILMS)
A scene from the KAN show 'Douze Points'
(photo credit: KAN 11/FIRMA FILMS)
Israel’s public broadcaster will delay a scheduled satire TV show about a terrorist plot against the Eurovision after complaints.
KAN was slated to air the miniseries, titled Douze Points, ahead of the international singing competition in Tel Aviv in May. But KAN confirmed Monday that the show will be delayed until after the Eurovision is complete.
One of the major complaints surrounded the fact that the show – conceived and written last year – features a gay, Muslim singer from France who is drawn into an ISIS plot. Earlier this year, France selected a gay, Muslim singer to represent it at the contest in Tel Aviv this year.
“In a total coincidence, there is a similarity between the story of the French singer in the series and in reality,” KAN said on Monday. The public broadcaster said it received a “harsh” letter from the European Broadcasting Union, “claiming that broadcasting the show in Israel could cause significant security, political and legal issues, and that airing it is contrary to the agreement between the EBU and KAN.”
This is a significant departure from KAN’s position on the issue last month. At the time, a spokeswoman for KAN told The Jerusalem Post that it had zero intention of shelving the miniseries despite complaints from the EBU and the French delegation.
The three-part miniseries features a character named TJ, who is “being blackmailed by ISIS and has to face a homophobic terrorist, sensational tabloids, obsessive Mossad agents and various questionable characters on his way to win through music, freedom and love,” KAN said of the show.
Though the similarities between the character and France’s real-life contestant this year – Bilal Hassani – are purely a coincidence, KAN said it would nevertheless agree to the EBU’s demand.
“Members of our content committee – who have the authority to approve broadcasts – decided to approve the show only after the end of the Eurovision,” KAN said on Monday. “The members of the committee believe that the public interest requires the public broadcaster to avoid any danger whatsoever to the Eurovision competition taking place in Israel.”