Boy George, Debra Messing among celebs supporting Israel’s continued inclusion in Eurovision

Over 400 leaders in the entertainment industry, including Boy George, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren and Scooter Braun, have signed an open letter released by Creative Community For Peace in support of the European Broadcasting Union’s public commitment to include Israel in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest.

Liev Schreiber, Gene Simmons, Mayim Bialik, Selma Blair, Julianna Margulies, Sharon Osbourne and Emmy Rossum are also among the high-profile figures who have signed the letter. The statement is the first of its kind, a call from members of the entertainment industry voicing support for Israel’s inclusion in the contest.

On Eurovision’s impact, the letter states, “We believe that unifying events such as singing competitions are crucial to help bridge our cultural divides and unite people of all backgrounds through their shared love of music.” The letter concludes: “Those who are calling for Israel’s exclusion are subverting the spirit of the Contest and turning it from a celebration of unity into a tool of politics.”

The letter is a response to a call last month from more than 1,000 Swedish artists, such as Eric Saade, Mauro Scocco and Robyn, who have demanded that Israel be disinvited from the contest.

“We who sign this are 1,000 artists who believe in music as a unifying force. The Eurovision song contest began as a peace project with the ambition to unite countries and citizens through music,” reads the Swedish letter. “Allowing Israel’s participation undermines not only the spirit of the competition but the entire public service mission. It also sends the signal that governments can commit war crimes without consequences. Therefore, we appeal to the EBU: Exclude Israel from the Eurovision song contest 2024.”

On Feb. 8, Israel announced that 20-year-old Eden Golan would be representing them at the contest this year, which is scheduled to take place in Sweden May 7-11.

“Music is a place for unity, not division,” Braun said in the letter supporting Israel’s inclusion. “It is a language that should always bring us together. Artists should never be discriminated against for who they are, who they love, or where they’re born. These boycott efforts do nothing but distract from the uplifting and unifying power of music – something we need now more than ever.”

“Music unites people from all backgrounds,” Simmons said in the same letter. “It’s the one language that everyone can understand. It’s a beautiful thing and a great way to bring people together. Those advocating to exclude an Israeli singer from Eurovision don’t move the needle towards peace, but only further divide the world.”

A full list of the celebrity co-signers for the Israel-inclusive letter can be found here. The full list of the Swedish artists calling for Israel to be removed from Eurovision can be found here.

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