Just hours before the grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced on Saturday afternoon (May 11th) that Dutch act Joost Klein (26) would be excluded from the music contest. There was an incident after the musician’s performance in the semi-finals on Thursday, which the Swedish police are investigating following a complaint from a female member of the production team. Now the responsible Dutch broadcaster Avrotos has spoken out in a statement, describing the incident and expressing its disappointment with the decision.

“Contrary to clear agreements, Joost was filmed after he had just left the stage and had to rush to the green room,” says the statement, which was shared on Instagram, among other places. “At that moment, Joost repeatedly stated that he did not want to be filmed. This was not respected.”

Klein responded with a “threatening movement” in the direction of the camerawoman, but did not touch or touch her. The incident was subsequently reported and is now being investigated by the EBU and police, it said.

The broadcaster also writes that they have discussed things “in detail” with the EBU over the past two days and have made several suggestions for solutions. “Nevertheless, the EBU has decided to disqualify Joost. Avrotos finds the punishment very serious and inappropriate,” it said. “We stand for good behavior so that there are no misunderstandings. But we believe that an exclusion for this incident is not appropriate.”

Finally, Avrotos writes that they are “very disappointed and sad for the millions of fans who were looking forward to tonight.” “What Joost brought to the Netherlands and Europe should not have ended like this.”

The EBU or the affected camerawoman herself have not yet commented specifically on the background to the incident. The EBU’s statement on Saturday afternoon said: “We have a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behavior at our event and are committed to providing a safe working environment for all competition staff.” Joost Klein’s behavior towards a team member is considered a violation of the competition rules.

Joost Klein wanted to compete in the ESC final with his song “Europapa”, but was not allowed to take part in the run-through rehearsal on Friday evening. He was considered one of the favorites for this year’s contest. The final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest will take place this evening (May 11th) in Malmö, Sweden, but only with 25 entries.