Sunday, 23 March 2014

Fail: Armenia representative in Eurovision Aram MP3 makes homophobic and transphobic remarks

UPDATE 5 April 2014: Armenia Eurovision representative Aram MP3: “I reject homophobia”
***
I am pretty disappointed that from the very first day when Public TV announced Aram MP3 as Armenia representative in Eurovision, he started making homophobic and transphobic remarks, especially in relation to Austrian representative in Eurovision. I am sure Eurovision fans in Europe, including many LGBT people, won’t be impressed to learn about Aram MP3 statements so far.

In his first Public TV appearance following the nomination, answering pretty ridiculous question by Armenia Eurovision delegation head: [what is your opinion about Austria’s “the bearded woman” Conchita’s “orientation”?], Aram MP3 replied that for him it’s “not normal”, “not adequate” and as if jokingly continued: ‘hopefully, we will help her to eventually decide whether she is a woman or man’. [see video (in Armenian) from 30:43 minutes]
A note for Armenian media and for Aram MP3 re drag artist Conchita Wurst [Conchita is not perceived as drag act but rather trans, gay by many in Armenia]:   
Because of the discrimination against Tom in his teenage years, he created Conchita. The Bearded Lady, as a statement. A statement for tolerance and acceptance- as it's not about appearances; it's about the human being.
*eurovision.tv

On 20th March, during press conference with local reporters, similar remarks repeated again.
Reporters also asked about his opinion of Austrian representative Conchita Wurst. Aram MP3 confessed smiling: ‘it will be difficult’. 
“I just realised that, after all, we will be on the same stage, because as part of the Eurovision all participants perform one song together. If you want to know my position, when I pass next to Kom aygi [Unzipped: cruising park in downtown Yerevan frequented by gay men and particularly trans sex workers], I speed up my car. In this case [re Conchita], I will try to somehow put up with.”

Լրագրողները նաև հետաքրքրվեցին, թե ինչպիսին է նրա մոտեցումը Ավստրիայի ներկայացուցիչ Կոնչիտա Վուրստի նկատմամբ: Արամը ժպիտով խոստովանեց, որ դժվար է լինելու: «Նոր հասկացա, որ այդուհանդերձ նրա հետ նույն բեմում ենք գտնվելու, քանի որ «Եվրատեսիլի» շրջանակներում բոլոր մասնակիցներով պետք է համատեղ մեկ երգ կատարենք: Իսկ ընդհանրապես, եթե ուզում եք իմանալ իմ մոտեցումը, ապա «կոմայգու» մոտով անցնելիս ես արագացնում եմ իմ մեքենայի ընթացքը. այս դեպքում պետք է մի կերպ համակերպվել»,- ասաց Արամը:
Such references to Kom aygi are being routinely used in Armenia by media and individuals to stir-up or gave in to homophobic and transphobic sentiments among mainstream public. Participation of Austria's Conchita led to calls to boycott Eurovision by homophobic circles claiming it would be ‘dishonour’ for Armenia participant to be on the same stage with Austrian representative.

The following day, during his RFE/RL Facebook ‘press conference’ (event's page), many Armenian FB users expressed their dismay about his remarks from above meeting with journalists.


In reply to criticism, Aram MP3 said he only “jokingly" noted that it would be difficult for him, ‘to make journalists laugh’, but he was “honest”: “I do not live such life, and regardless how the world progressed or regressed, this is an unacceptable subject matter for me.” After journalist’s insistence, he stated he did not mean to offend Conchita. [see video (in Armenian) from 7:39 minutes]

I dare Aram MP3 to repeat such “jokes" and views to European journalists covering Eurovision. 

I am not a big fan of his song, but good for Aram that it quickly became top viewed among Eurovision entrants on YouTube and bookmakers’ favourite. Shame for Aram’s amateurish attitude towards his colleagues and for his repeated homophobic and transphobic remarks.

I hope and wish that mixing with the Eurovision crowd will open up his eyes to diversity of people, and to the importance to respect and value such diversity.

I will not be voting for Aram MP3, because I simply cannot vote for someone with such views. You decide yourself. But if he wins, I will be only happy to see "gay parade" Eurovision coming to Armenia, although it would be ironic that a person with such questionable views would make this happened.

13 comments:

USARM STYLE said...

it is obvious that this article was written to convince people not to vote for Aram, the last part of the article is a proof of it. this is a lame article.

Anonymous said...

Armenia is sucks on this Eurovision Song Contest.

From Russia with love :)

artmika said...

More reflections:

Epress.am "Blogger Won’t be Voting for Armenia’s Eurovision Entry Because of his Homophobic, Transphobic Remarks" http://www.epress.am/en/2014/03/24/blogger-wont-be-voting-for-armenias-eurovision-entry-because-of-his-homophobic-transphobic-remarks.html

IANYAN magazine "‘Not Alone:’ Armenia Enters Eurovision 2014 with Aram MP3′s Romantic Ballad" http://www.ianyanmag.com/2014/03/23/not-alone-armenia-enters-eurovision-2014-with-aram-mp3s-romantic-ballad/

No Rock And Roll Fun "Armenia enter homophobic, transphobic tosspot into Eurovision"
http://xrrf.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/armenia-enter-homophobic-transphobic.html

Dave GAvlis said...

I totally agree. I cannot vote for an artist with such prejudices. Aram's song was my favourite but nnowI won't vote for him.

artmika said...

Good brief review by The Cali Garmo (US Armenian currently living in the UK) on ups and downs of Aram MP3: http://thecaligarmo.com/blogs/eurovision/2014/03/25/armenia/

artmika said...

Follow-up: Conchita Wurst responds to Armenia’s Eurovision representative Aram MP3 homophobic and transphobic remarks

Anonymous said...

One's views should not be taken into account in a song contest such as this one. This contest is for everyone, and nobody needs to go through a political litmus test in order to be qualified to "receive support". It is impossible to impose Western-style attitudes towards the ex-USSR and Armenia by encouraging people to boycott Armenia in Eurovision, and try to sabotage Armenia's first legitimate chance to win Eurovision.

Your article might have been well-intentioned, but it has generated a lot of hatred towards Armenians and people in the gay community have become more aggressive against us than before thanks to this article. Job well done; you got your wish and we'll most likely lose.

artmika said...

Anonymous, I am afraid I disagree with your suggestion that respect for diversity and human rights is a “Western-style attitude”. It’s a value of universal significance.

Even though I’d absolutely love to see Eurovision being held in Armenia, I will never keep silent when faced with hypocrisy and bigotry and will always expose homophobia and transphobia.

It’s not me who is harming Aram’s chances to win, it’s him who repeatedly made such bigoted and amateurish remarks. I also blame Armenia’s Eurovision delegation head who effectively encouraged such remarks by initiating utterly ridiculous questioning following Aram’s nomination, as I mentioned in my post.

The aim of this blog post is to educate Aram MP3 and Armenia's Eurovision delegation that such remarks are unacceptable and to give them chance to make amends.

***
ABC.es ¿Homofobia en Eurovisión?

EurovisionIreland.net ARMENIA : Has Aram MP3 Just Shot His Chances of Winning Eurovision With His Alleged Homophobic Comments

artmika said...

From homophobia to posting ‘Hitler’ picture: Armenia Eurovision representative Aram MP3 fails the ‘funny’ test

artmika said...

Bearded Austrian drag queen to take on Eurovision

"[...] But her entry has highlighted Europe's geographical divide on attitudes to homosexuality. Unlikely to raise much controversy in the West, her appearance has prompted criticism by some in the East where anti-gay rhetoric remains more common.

Online petitions have been started in Belarus, Armenia and Russia - whose government passed a law last year banning "gay propaganda" among minors - to have Wurst removed or edited out of broadcasts in their countries.

Armenian Eurovision contender Aram MP3, a 30-year-old man whose real name is Aram Sargsyan, said Wurst's way of life was "not natural" and she should decide to be a woman or a man.

Wurst shot back: "I told him I don't want to be a woman. I am just a working queen and a very lazy boy at home."

Aram MP3 has since apologized, saying his comments were intended as a joke."

Anonymous said...

Please don't make this homophobe win this extremely gay-friendly competition. The world has enough pretentious homophobic people, there is no need to encourage these behaviours... Even if I didn't like Armenian people I would never say ''I would speed up when I pass the Armenian neighbourhood'' in my country...

Show respect for the difference!

Anonymous said...

Intended as a joke? Who on earth finds that funny, I mean, is that Armenian humour? Actually it would be fine if Armenia won the ESC. It would probably lead more Western tourists – including gay tourists to the Kom Aygi area – to this stunningly, beautiful country.

artmika said...

Rainbow Eurovision: Armenia’s Aram MP3, Austria’s Conchita, Iceland’s Pollapönk and lesson of diversity