The new host of the Eurovision Song Contest, Graham Norton, made an insulting comment some say was racist toward Albanians on the air last week. See photos and video of Graham Norton as well as video of the Albanian performer below.
Eurovision is an annually televised singing contest comprised of contestants from across Europe with an estimated audience of 100 million people.
Comedian Graham Norton, who made his debut this year, replaced long time host, Sir Terry Wogan. Wogan was a commentator for 30 years on the show, who finally called it quits last year. Norton’s first chance at commenting went pretty well, save the Albanian comment, which was made just before a young performer from Albania was set to take the stage.
An Albanian girl, accompanied by a strange looking man dressed head to toe in blue sequins, was ready to begin when Graham said:
“The bad news is you’re about to watch Albania. She’s only 17 so please bear that in mind. Where was her mother? Why didn’t she step in and say no?”
This remark, dubbed an insult by many, sent ripples of outrage through not only Albania, but also the Albanian population in Britain. There is even a petition circling the net calling for a formal apology from Graham. The petition, which calls Graham’s comment “very rude and insulting,” has already drawn over 1000 signatures.
See photos and video of Graham and video of the Albanian girl below.