Ryan O'Shaughnessy celebrates last night. Andres Poveda

FactCheck: Did Russian TV refuse to show Ireland's Eurovision entry over gay themes?

The claim has done the rounds today.

IT’S A DAY of celebration across Ireland, as Ryan O’Shaughnessy made it to the Eurovision song contest final. But there is some sourness tainting the result, as online commentary focuses on Russia’s attitude to the Irish entry.

In March, the Irish Independent reported that the song, Together, would not be broadcast by Russian TV stations due to the presence of a portrayal of a gay couple in the video and, ultimately, during the performance in Lisbon last night.

As the claim is picking up steam, we will examine whether the claim is true.


The claim

Last night during the show, Twitter user @TheJackSullivan tweeted:

Russia have just refused to broadcast Ireland’s semi final #Eurovision performance, because it depicted same-sex love. Isn’t it time Russia was booted out of the contest?

The tweet is one of many making the assertion, but is the most widely retweeted, having over 350 this morning.

The facts

We asked Russia-based Irish journalist Bryan MacDonald to ask his Russian followers if they had seen Ireland’s performance and many said they had.

Some suggest that the Russian feed runs on a delay to allow swear words be cut if necessary and others direct MacDonald to the 1TV website.

In response to Sullivan’s tweet, a number of Twitter users posted screengrabs of the performance on Russia’s Channel One (the country’s equivalent of RTÉ).

Even more obviously, the performance as seen in Russia can be seen here on a Russian TV streaming site at the 1hr 38m mark – complete with male dancers.

Indeed, the Russia broadcast features no warning, no censorship and no attempt to stifle the broadcast whatsoever.


There is no evidence that Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s performance was cut from Russian TV whatsoever.

We rate this claim as FALSE.’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

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