Olly Alexander attends the "Bonus Track" premiere during the 67th BFI London Film Festival at the Vue West End on October 05, 2023 in London, England Source: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for BFI

Out Recording Artist Olly Alexander Responds to Call to Boycott Eurovision Due to Israel

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Israel is taking part in the 2024 Eurovision song contest, and hundreds of people are calling for a boycott from out British singer Olly Alexander as a protest.

As previously reported, Alexander, the 33-year-old frontman for Years & Years and the star of the 2021 Russell T. Davies-penned miniseries "It's A Sin," is slated to represent Britain in the annual contest with a performance of his recent single, "Dizzy."

But, UK newspaper the Independent relayed, "More than 450 queer artists, individuals and organizations have signed an open letter" urging him "to withdraw from this year's Eurovision Song Contest because of the inclusion of Israel in the competition."

Added the Independent: "The group, who call themselves Queers for Palestine, include the actor Maxine Peake, band Goat Girl and novelist and playwright Sarah Schulman."

The letter states that "Israel's inclusion in Eurovision would enable and cover up its war crimes and crimes against humanity," and accuses Israel of taking part in Eurovision as a matter of "propaganda" so as "to artwash its ongoing genocide..."

Directing its message to Alexander, the letter tells him, "We share the vision of queer joy and abundance you've offered through your music, and share your belief in collective liberation for all."

"In this spirit, we ask you to heed the Palestinian call to withdraw from Eurovision," the letter continues, per the Independent. "There can be no party with a state committing apartheid and genocide.​​​​"

In a followup article, the Independent conveyed the response that Alexander "and his team" made to the open letter, posting his answer on social media.

"We want to begin by acknowledging the privilege of taking part in Eurovision," Alexander's reply began. "It [is] important to us to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and communicate our heartfelt wish for peace, an immediate lasting ceasefire, and the safe return of all hostages. We stand united against all forms of hate, including antisemitism and islamophobia."

"We firmly believe in the unifying power of music, enabling people to transcend differences and foster meaningful conversations and connections," the post continued.

In a second, more personal, post, Alexander addressed the issue once more.

The out singer prefaced his second post with: "Queers for Palestine sent me their letter asking me to withdraw from the ESC earlier this week and I responded to them directly."

"I'm sharing my response here alongside this mornings collective artist statement," Alexander said.

"I wholeheartedly support action being taken to demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the return of all hostages and the safety and security of all civilians in Palestine and Israel," Alexander continued. "I know some people will choose to boycott this year's Eurovision and I understand and respect their decision."

"As a participant I've taken a lot of time to deliberate over what to do and the options available to me," Alexander continued. "It is my current belief that removing myself from the contest wouldn't bring us any closer to our shared goal."

"Instead, I've been speaking with some of the other EV participants," Alexander disclosed, "and we've decided that by taking part we can use our platform to come together and call for peace."

Watch the video for Alexander's single "Dizzy" below.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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