The director of RÚV, the state broadcasting service, said that he can see both pros and cons with boycotting Eurovision this year. Meanwhile, a reader poll at DV shows respondents overwhelmingly in favour of staying home this year.
As reported, Azerbaijan – who will host Eurovision this year – forcibly evicted and rendered many people homeless to make way for the Eurovision venue, and has been criticised by international observers for their poor human rights record. Singer Páll Óskar has gone so far as to say that Iceland should boycott the contest altogether, and has encouraged RÚV – who normally broadcast the event – to join in the boycott as well.
RÚV director Páll Magnússon told Eyjan that he believes that Páll Óskar and others have good reason to want to boycott Eurovision this year. On the other hand, he says, Icelanders must consider whether participation in the event could be used by Iceland to bring attention to human rights abuses in Azerbaijan. He added that Nordic broadcasters intend to meet at the end of this month, and a possible Eurovision boycott will be discussed at that time.
In related news, a reader poll conducted by DV shows that 85.2% of those responding believe Iceland should boycott Eurovision, while 11.4% support Iceland participating, and 3.4% were either undecided or did not want to respond.