The Scoop

Controversy surrounding Xavier Naidoo?

It seems not everyone is too chuffed with NDR’s choice to internally select Xavier Naidoo for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Fans have called for action, accusations have been flying around, even a petition was started against Naidoo’s participation and NDR was forced to react. And all that within 30 hours after the announcement.
When selecting Naidoo, NDR must have known that they were picking a man who is known for having some controversy around him. They also knew they were still picking one of the nations most well known singers. But what’s true in all these accusations and what happened so far? Time for us to take a look.
The accusations against Xavier Naidoo
Right, so where do we stand in terms of accusations? Let’s just list them here and see what we actually know – from Xavier himself as well as from others.
First up, there is Xavier’s view on the United States and how they act. He believes that Germany is somehow still occupied. During the interview released by NDR yesterday, Naidoo says:

In the globalising world, in which we live, we see that many decisions are taken outside of Germany. My belief of freedom doesn’t go together with it, things like telephone tapping or spying.

Ok, so yes, Naidoo doesn’t like USA politics and no matter what we believe is true (his view or another), there is nothing wrong with stating what he stated. Wrong however is his comment back in 2014, where he said:

Our children will ask us where we were in September 2001. And if we believe what we were told as if it were the truth, then we all refuse to see what is actually happening.

So… his anti-USA beliefs go as far as claiming that 9/11 was not actually a terrorist attack, but planned by the USA itself, as Naidoo is reported to have said by Frankfurter Rundschau. Not the smartest thing to say.
Next up is the accusation of Naidoo belonging to a far right group in Germany called the Reichsbürger. This ‘Reichsbürgerbewegung’ as they are called believe in the Germany pre-World War II living on.
The accusation comes from a 2014 rally by these Reichsbürger which was attended by Naidoo (the same rally where he made his 9/11 comments). And here’s where we don’t know what is actually true. Several people quote friends of his, who say that Naidoo does indeed support the Reichsbürger and that he attended the event for that specific reason. Yesterday however, Naidoo was questioned about his beliefs by NDR. He said that he did not support the movement, but decided to go there to look for dialogue to find out what moved them and to maybe influence their beliefs through dialogue.
So for this one it’s not clear. Which leaves us to one thing: We don’t know. So there is no need to throw accusations around for something we actually don’t know the truth about.
Back to Naidoo’s beliefs of freedom, which we already quoted above. He is an extremely liberal man, with extremely liberal views and beliefs which go against banks and against establishment. We quote from his song Raus aus dem Reichstag (“(Get) out of the Reichstag” – Germany’s parliament):

German bankers, greedy bankers

Anti-banking, right there. Anything wrong? No? Ok, moving on. This same song was the reason for the Berliner Zeitung to call Naidoo an antisemitic person. Why? Steven Geyer, the journalist, had apparently assumed that Naidoo meant Jewish bankers. As reported by, the entire song makes no mention of Jews or Israel. So we don’t quite know where this accusation comes from.
And then the final one of Naidoo’s reputation. Up until now, a lot has been said and very little has been confirmed. This last one seems to bother a lot of people: Alleged homophobia. This all dates back to 2012, when Naidoo released an album with rapper Kool Savas, under the name Xavas. On that album, there was a song called Wo sind sie jetzt? (“Where are they now?”). In itself a harmless title, but the lyrics are quite… agressive. Quite frankly, too agressive to even put them here. Except for the one sentence that caused the major homophobia claim:

Why don’t you love pussy, even when we all came out of one?

Yep. That’s pretty bad. Of course, there’s a million ways to interpret that one line in the context of the song, but this homophobia claim is one of them. We can understand the anger caused by this sentence, but it’s not ‘clear evidence’, is it? Is this why some fans are so angry?
We can understand all of that. We can understand the anger, which is also partly caused by the same anger that exists in every country with an internal selection: Why did we, the public, not get asked about this? Why did the broadcaster decide this all on their own?
It’s quite the essay to sum up everything that has happened with and surrounded Naidoo in the past few years. Even if some, if not most, if not all of us will disagree with some or most of Naidoo’s views, it’s important to remember that most of these claims have been media based. We’re not saying that none of these controversies are true, but does it really matter?
For Eurovision, it might be a good idea to let music speak. And to judge Germany and Naidoo on the song they choose for Stockholm, not on some media based controversies surrounding a singer. Fact is, Xavier Naidoo is a rather successful singer in the German speaking area and he’ll go to Eurovision.

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