Is politics or cash behind Ukraine’s Eurovision decision?
Pop phenomenon Maruv will not represent Ukraine at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. The singer, real name Anna Korsun, has had a very public argument with the Ukrainian organisers. The dispute is set against the continuing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.
Already during the live selection show, a jury panel member questioned the fact that Maruv had appeared at shows in Russia, and is set to again in April. After a meeting between her and her management, the Ukrainian national committee decided to exercise their veto and drop Maruv. They pointed out that she has to represent her country and that the choice risked politicizing the TV show. Ukraine’s Culture Ministry also commented that only “patriots who are aware of their responsibility” should be allowed to sing for Ukraine at the annual pop contest while “thousands of heroes are dying for Ukraine’s territorial integrity”.
Meanwhile, inside the contracts
Inevitably, Maruv took to social media to put her point of view. Firstly, she had problems acting as a country’s representative. Even though she said she is proud to be Ukrainian, she did not feel comfortable with “mouthing slogans”. But she also pointed to a few clauses in the contract that would make anyone pause, notably:
- no improvisations on stage
- immediate transfer of the song’s copyright to Warner Music
- full compliance with any instructions or demands of the local organizers (“theoretically, they could order me to dance at the birthday party of a deputy prime minister”)
- a ban on talking to the press without prior approval.
Some of the technical details are also pretty mind-boggling:
- no financial support
- no help in organsing the trip
- no help with the visa.
The overall contract looks extremely one-sided. There is an undoubted benefit in appearing at the Eurovision. What would you do in this case?