Macedonian news portal Plus info quotes Esma Razdepova firmly denying the anti-gay remarks printed in the Serbian paper “Kurir”, which created an international media storm around the 69-year old Eurovision contestant from FYR Macedonia by alleging that she was homophobic.
We remind our readers that Esma was quoted by “Kurir” as saying that she blamed FYR Macedonia’s failure to qualify to the Final on the “gay lobby” and that her colleague Lozano did not go to the Euroclub for fear of being touched inappropriately by men.
Macedonian portal Plus Info reveals however that Esma was surprised by the backlash:
It’s a fabrication, I never said such a thing. If you’re an adult, you are free to live however you want. I love all gays and they love me. I have never offended them and I never said anything bad about them. I have no prejudice. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.
The Macedonian website also says that members of the LGBT community had left banners reading “Esma, we’re here and we’ll be here”, which have since been removed.
wiwibloggs also tried to contact Esma Razdepova, but neither she nor her management were available for comment. We are relieved to hear from the Macedonian press that she denies having made the anti-gay statements. They took everyone by surprise, given her life-long fight against prejudice and discrimination that earned her two Nobel Peace Prize nominations. Despite an underwhelming performance in the semi-final alongside Lozano with their song “Pred da se razdeni”, we had held her in high regard and we were saddened to hear the initial reports coming from Serbia. We are very glad to learn that they are not true and we apologize for quoting them and misinforming our readers.
Update: Esma’s people have released an official statement which you can read by clicking here.
Photo credit: Eurovision.tv