Outrage as Bushwick Nightclub, 3 Dollar Bill, Cancels Eurovision Party over Israeli Singer’s Involvement

3 Dollar Bill, a prominent gay nightclub in Bushwick, is facing criticism after canceling a viewing party for the Eurovision Song Contest. The decision was made, the club says, because “the Eurovision event does not align with our values,” according to an announcement, made on Instagram on Thursday evening, which has sparked backlash already, because of the Swedish show’s finalist, a 20-year-old singer named Eden Golan, who is representing Israel on the show.

“Golan is being boycotted not because of what she did but because of who she is. There’s a word for this: antisemitism,” wrote a Bronx Congressman named Richie Torres, in a tweet shortly after. 

Controversy began shortly after the nightclub’s Instagram post, which quickly descended into a battleground with the decision attracting thousands of comments. Critics labeled the move as a “gross display of hatred,” pointing to the club’s use of the hashtag “#NeverAgainForAnyone”—a phrase typically associated with the Holocaust—to justify the cancellation of an event featuring an Israeli singer.

Within hours, calls for a physical boycott of the venue emerged, spearheaded by voices within the queer community who felt betrayed by the decision. Some used the hashtag #NeverComingBackAgain to express their disapproval. On Instagram page, called Queers Against Antisemitism, called the decision “uneducated, ignorant, and hateful.”

Maxim Ibadov, one of the organizers of the event, wrote online they “didn’t blame the club” because “they were under tremendous pressure” but added that “a whole community of immigrants, music lovers and Eurovision fans were stripped of a moment that could have been a celebration of joy and unity.”

Local and online reactions were vehement. Users across social media platforms criticized 3 Dollar Bill for what they saw as a discriminatory stance against an individual artist based on her nationality. Comments ranged from highlighting the contradiction of a venue built on inclusivity engaging in what some saw as exclusionary practices, to broader criticisms of hypocrisy regarding American foreign policy.

Less than a day later, 3 Dollar Bill’s instagram page announced that it would be hosting the viewing party after all. It would be free of charge. The previous post was deleted and a reason was not given for the change. Comments were disabled.

The Eurovision Song Contest, finals set to occur in Malmö Arena on May 11, will be airing at 3pm in the U.S., via Peacock.

Top image taken from 3 Dollar Bill’s Instagram.

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