Israeli singer Maor Gamliel showed up to his audition for “The Next Star For Eurovision 2016” clutching a teddy bear. He claimed that the stuffed animal, given to him by his vocal coach, had helped him sing over the past week. That was adorable. Less cute, however, are the anti-gay allegations that now surround the singer and the show following Maor’s performance of his original song “Moshiko”.

Yes, we’re only a few weeks into it, but Israel’s national selection for Eurovision 2016 is already giving us plenty of drama.

Maor and a friend wrote the song about a gay guy named Moshiko. It tells the story of a man struggling to come out of the closet — despite the fact everyone sees him for what he is. The lyrics are cheeky and irreverent: “Moshiko, taking down his underwear, Moshiko, drops the soap, Moshiko, should be at the theater, Moshiko, come out of the closet.”

You could read that as a song of empowerment: it’s like, babes, we get that you are gay and it’s OK, just come out. The judges, including openly gay Harel Skaat and Assi Azar, certainly weren’t offended. Assi asked the singer whether he found him or Harel more attractive. They sent Maor and his song through to the next phase of the show.

Many members of the LGBT community in Israel are not amused. So far hundreds of viewers have written to Israel’s television regulator to complain that the song was offensive, homophobic and used anti-gay jabs as humour. For those reasons, they say this episode shouldn’t have been broadcast during prime time TV.

“At first glance, I believe the song is hurtful, insulting and shaming,” David Regev, the public complaints ombudsman of the Second Authority, told Haaretz. “In the balance between free expression, which allows for such a song, and the harm caused to the audience of viewers, I believe the harm was much greater, and this should have been taken into account before the broadcast.”

It’s not an easy task, but we’ve attempted to translate the lyrics below.

Moshiko Lyrics — (Lidor Tzafrir, Maor Gamliel, Adir Golber)

Moshiko, he’s into boys
Moshiko, loves asses
Moshiko, always in the changing rooms
Moshiko, ignores the girls

Moshiko, taking down his underwear
Moshiko, drops the soap
Moshiko, should be at the theater
Moshiko, come out of the closet

Until this day, everything was suspected
We’ve realized that you’re sliding On The Pole
Together we looked at the girls in the bathroom
Then you said… dude, it’s not my thing
In hide and seek you were always hiding in the closet
You held the car’s stick in the wrong way
You had a girlfriend – yeah, that doesn’t fit in
On a second thought, she looked liked a boyfriend.

Moshiko, how Zaski will respond
Moshiko, sure there’s gonna be an argument
Moshiko, very cool to be gay
Moshiko, I’m sure it hurts

Moshiko, doesn’t do sports
Moshiko, you’ll end up fat
Moshiko, always sharpens his Pen
Moshiko, come out of the closet

I Remember that you were sunbathing at the beach every day
Then you went into the water when a guy bended over,
You were spending some time with a girl in the bathroom
I did not understand how ended up as platonic friends
You discovered that you are gay , different from the others,
Since then you peel bananas with your mouth
Dude, I understand it’s good to be hot
Are you happy to see me or do you have a gun?

Moshiko, so reckless
Moshiko, they call him the merry
Moshiko, there is no right or wrong
Moshiko, come out of the closet.

 Read more news about “The Next Star for Eurovision 2016”

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Hebbuzz
Guest

It’s a rip-off of Jason Mraz – I’m yours.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkHTsc9PU2A

Hebbuzz
Guest

The gay audience will surely like it but NOT for the quality of the song or vocals.

Hebbuzz
Guest
The song sounds like 134,635 other songs I’ve heard before but it is catchy in a way. Has the same ByeAlex feeling over it. I can understand people have negative memories coming up with the lyrics being the same old clichéd kinda stereotypes. But if you feel hurt by it, you have to work on your own self esteem and don’t blame this singer. Clearly Harel has come further, as 5 years ago he was in the closet and can now laugh about it. That’s OK. STRAIGHT to Stockholm? Hmmm not sure. The gay audience will surely like it but… Read more »
Edd Keith
Editor

I love this. Should go straight to Eurovision!!

Iberian
Guest

No way I’m taking silly, stereotyped “jokes” about gays with humor. Comedy has to be good (if not intelligent or at least surprising), not annoying or even offensive.

mocosuburbian
Guest

what kind of name is moshiko anyways though

Fatima
Guest

Regardless of the level of offensiveness, it’s not exactly going to challenge for an Ivor Novello award, is it ?

Sparrow
Guest

I think it’s how blatant the song is, the lines in the song “taking down his underwear..dropping the soap..held the cars stick the wrong way” these were all lines thrown at me when I was bullied at school. So I wasn’t exactly offended but bringing up unpleasant memories didn’t impress me either.
Not too mention how clearly unimpressed Assi was during the performance then trying to cover it up by making a joke and asking if they preferred himself to Harel.

Thiefo
Guest

Yes, I know why someone would find this offensive, but seriously? I think people should take it just like the people in this video: with humor. I personally don’t find it even remotely offensive.

Objectively speaking though, the song itself isn’t anything special anyway.

Erin
Guest

@Nitzan – The guy introduced as ‘Moshiko’ was an imposter. You can read all about it below. In fact, the real ‘moshiko’ isn’t gay at all…but what do we really expect from a prerecorded and scripted reality show, just like ‘Survivor’, ‘Big Brother’ and the rest…
http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4745501,00.html

Nitzan
Guest

You forgot to mentioned that this “Moshiko” guy is actually his friend, to which he was singing, and was actually sitting in the audience having a laugh.

The gay community is all over Harel and Assi, failing to acknowledge the total gayness of this program, much thanks to them. “The next star to Eurovision” is one big outed gay party on prime time TV, it celebrates gayness and mocks it at the same time.

Erin
Guest

This whole ‘audition’ was premeditated from start till finish as nobody in his right mind truly believes this guy is a serious contender nor is he interested in anything but his 5 minutes of fame. Any decent production would have left that video reel on the cutting room floor because it’s debasing the basic dignity this infantile show thinks it has. If anything, People should be offended that this is the kind of TV they’re consuming without getting that the joke is on them.

Iberian
Guest

If you find these lines funny, “Moshiko, loves asses”, “drops the soap”, “should be at the theater”, “You held the car’s stick in the wrong way”, “doesn’t do sports” or “Since then you peel bananas with your mouth”, then good for you. To me they are silly and plenty of (offensive) stereotypes, meant to show gays as fat, silly clowns who only think of asses and bananas. I don’t see the fun in there, but hey, if you find that funny, I totally respect that. Please respect that others find these lines stupid and even offensive.

Sabi
Guest

I see how the double standards works between men & woman in Eurovision.. i mean how nobody can condemn about the homophobic comments of the Albanian singer for ESC 2016 to Conchita & Eurovision, but it’s incredible that Maor Gamliel who wants to be in ESC just has been criticised for lyrics mocking a gay character!

William Lee Adams
Admin

It seems to me like he wasn’t being offensive, but actually supportive in his own way. But I can see why some are offended

jr esc nl
Guest

Iberian, how am I selfish? i’m freaking gay myself but it doesn’t make me scream racism at every little thing I see.

Iberian
Guest

meh… people don’t feel any empathy towards others these days (they don’t get it, when it’s offensive, ’cause the are selfish)… i can’t stand those kind of people.

jr esc nl
Guest

meh… people get offended about anything these days… i can’t stand those kind of people.