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Dutch broadcaster says they are “very disappointed and upset” over Eurovision entry Joost Klein’s disqualification

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Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS has announced they are “very disappointed and upset” over the disqualification of their Eurovision entry Joost Klein.

Earlier today, the news of Klein’s disqualification was shared by Eurovision organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). He was accused of making verbal threats towards a female member of production crew, according to police. As a result, Klein was placed under investigation by the organisers yesterday (May 10) due to an “incident” and was not allowed to perform his song ‘Europapa’ during the final dress rehearsal.

Now, Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS have released a full statement criticising the disqualification, calling it “disproportionate”.

“An incident occured after last Thursday’s performance”, they began. “Against clearly made agreements, Joost was filmed when he had just gotten off stage and had to rush to the greenroom. At that moment, Joost repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be filmed. This wasn’t respected. This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera. Joost did not touch the camera woman.”

After the incident was reported and investigated by the EBU and police, AVROTROS revealed they “consulted extensively” with the EBU and “proposed several solutions”. They then shared they found Klein’s disqualification “very heavy and disproportionate”, adding: “We stand for good manners – let there be no misunderstanding about that – but in our view, an exclusion order is not proportional to this incident.”

They concluded: “We are very disappointed and upset for the millions of fans who were so excited for tonight. What Joost brough to the Netherlands and Europe shouldn’t have ended this way.”

Earlier today, the EBU released a statement reasoning that they had disqualified Klein due to a “complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night’s Semi Final. While the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the Contest.”

They also clarified: “We would like to make it clear that, contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member.

“We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment for all staff at the Contest. In light of this, Joost Klein’s behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of Contest rules.”

The contest will now proceed tonight (May 11) with 25 countries participating. This marks the first time a contestant has been disqualified before the final despite having participated in the semi-final.

The case has been handed over to prosecutors in the region. Though Klein has been questioned by police, he has not been taken into custody.

In other news, Irish Eurovision entry Bambie Thug has raised a complaint with Eurovision organisers due to Israeli broadcaster KAN’s commentary on their performance.

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