Israel’s public broadcaster, Kan, announced yesterday a delay in the broadcast of a three-part comedy drama entitled Douze Points.
The mini-series centers around a Eurovision-style singing contest. In the show, a gay Muslim enters the contest to represent France. However, Islamic State puts pressure on the character to carry out a terrorist attack during the final of the contest in Tel Aviv.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Tel Aviv on the 12, 14 and 16 May. France’s entry is Bilal Hassani, a gay singer of Moroccan Muslim origin. He won his place with the track, Roi (which translates as ‘King’ in English).
KAN originally planned to air Douze Points in May, around the time of the contest.
The broadcaster said in February the lead character is, ‘being blackmailed by ISIS. The singer 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.’
However, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has made it clear that it objects to the plan. The EBU oversees the production and transmission rights of Eurovision, in conjunction with the host country. It asserts that Eurovision is a non-political arena to celebrate songwriting and music.
Douze Points postponed until after Eurovision
Despite Douze Points presenting a satirical take on an international song contest, EBU indicated its broadcast so close to Eurovision may offend. In February, EBU told KAN French delegates had raised concerns about the show.
KAN revealed yesterday it had received EBU correspondence requesting it delay the broadcast. EBU says airing the show in Israel close to the contest risked ‘significant security, political and legal ramifications,’ on top of constituting a potential breach of agreements between the two bodies.
KAN subsequently announced a delay in Douze Points’ transmission until after Eurovision.
‘Members of the [KAN Content] committee believe that the public interest necessitates the public broadcaster to refrain from endangering holding the competition in Israel for any reason,’ it said in a statement, according to AFP.
‘The series will be part of the broadcast schedule after the competition’s final.’