His victory at France’s national selection Destination Eurovision didn’t bring only happiness to Bilal Hassani. His sexuality and the peculiarity of the artist’s look was enough to trigger racist comments, hate speech and even death threats.
Assi Azar: “Stay strong!”
However, Bilal is not alone in this tricky situation. One of the those who hastened to offer their public support to the young French artist, is one of the presenters of this year’s contest, Assi Azar. Assi, who is an LGBTQ rights advocate and has been found among the 100 most influential gay people in the world, did not remain impartial and took public position in favor of Bilal, with the following words on Twitter:
Dear @iambilalhassani shalom! I’m Assi Azar, one of the hosts of @Eurovision 2019. I see what you’re going through, and as a part of the LGBTQ community I also know how it feels to be loved by many, and rejected by those who are still in the dark. Stay strong! And see u soon ❤️.
— Assi azar (@assiazar) January 29, 2019
Bilal Hassani: “Love always ends up winning!”
In an interview with Israeli media, Bilal talked about himself and shared his excitement about travelling to Tel Aviv and he can’t wait to take to the stage in May. He also stated that he has been asked about his dressing and behaviour a lot of times in the past. With his Eurovision entry Roi, he is trying to send a message that “he is just a guy who likes having fun with his look”.
Regarding the hate speech and threats he has received, Bilal pointed out that he has done a lot of work with himself and has learned not to give space for hate to his life but to focus on positive feelings such as love, as “it always ends up winning”, he says. When closing the discussion, he didn’t skip a mention to his family, who has supported him and is always by his side.
You may watch some important parts from Bilal Hassani’s statements here:
Bilal Hassani at Eurovision 2019
After two semi-finals and a compelling final evening, the drag singer and YouTuber Bilal Hassani manage to win the French national selection event Destination Eurovision, held for the second time. Bilal was offered the country’s 2019 Eurovision ticket by picking up a total of 200 points and coming first among 8 competing acts.
He is going to perform his song Roi in Tel Aviv, penned by Bilal himself, Medeline, as well as last year’s French Eurovision entrants, the duo Madame Monsieur.
As a part of the Big 5, France is going to compete automatically at the Grand Final on 18 May.