Andrew Lloyd-Webber claims “racism is so prevalent in some Eastern European countries that a black singer couldn’t hope to win the Eurovision Song contest,” the Independent reports.
The Independent: “I don’t think there’s any point beating around the bush,” Lord Lloyd-Webber said. “Did you see the Eurovision Song Contest this year? Well, if you had seen it, you might have noticed one thing – I don’t think there was one black face on the programme.”
Lord Lloyd-Webber led a nationwide search for the UK’s 2009 Eurovision entry and co-wrote the song, which was performed by Jade Ewen, a black singer from London. The host country was Russia and Ewen finished a creditable fifth. The peer said: “At the press conference in Moscow, I was asked: ‘Why have you brought a black artist?’
“I said, ‘Because she is the most talented artist that we had and I think she’s a major, major star’. I think we would have come second but there’s a problem when you go further east.”
It is ironic that Webber should make this assertion since UEFA’s European Championship 2012 was marred by racist taunts of black soccer players, in host countries Poland and the Ukraine, both in Eastern Europe. The Croatian and Russian Football Associations were charged with racial abuse. The United Nations defines Eastern Europe as consisting of Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and the Ukraine.