On Saturday, Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, AKA the longest-running annual international TV contest of all time. As the winning country, Israel receives the honor of hosting the annual event next year.
The winning song, “Toy,” was performed by Israel’s Netta Barzilai. Though the song was apparently deemed a winner by voters, the performance itself was considered by many to be highly problematic and guilty of cultural appropriation.
Netta wore stereotypically East Asian attire to perform the song, standing in front of a wall of lucky waving cat figurines.
— כאן (@kann) May 12, 2018
Obviously, Twitter was unimpressed by this pretty blatant attempt to ape another culture in the name of kitschiness.
Considering the fact that instances of cultural appropriation have been widely-discussed as of late, it’s pretty shocking that Israel chose to showcase such a controversial performance aesthetic — and even more surprising that the performance won Eurovision.