'Bring Back Jedward' | 

Gender studies lecturer slams ‘misogynist’ Johnny Rotten amid Eurovision bid

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, is competing to be chosen as Ireland’s Eurovision entry with his band Public Image Ltd (PiL).

The Sex Pistols' lead singer John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten. Photo: Vincent West/Reuters© REUTERS

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

A gender studies professor has said Ireland should “bring back Dustin the Turkey” after “racist” Johnny Rotten made the shortlist to represent the country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, is competing to be chosen as Ireland’s Eurovision entry with his band Public Image Ltd (PiL).

London-born Lydon qualifies as an Irish act due to his mother hailing from Cork and his father from Galway, and has submitted the song “Hawaii” with PiL.

The “pensive, personal yet universal love song” is dedicated to Lydon’s wife, Nora Forster, who is suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

PiL will perform the song on the Late Late Show next month, where the five other Eurovision hopefuls – Wild Youth, ADGY, CONNOLLY, Leila Jane, and K Muni & ND - will take to the stage to determine the nation’s representative.

Some people have taken to social media to criticise Lydon after it was announced that he was among the country’s potential Eurovision acts, with particular emphasis on the musician’s controversial politics.

Dr Mary McAuliffe, Director of Gender Studies at UCD, hit out at the punk rocker in a tweet this week and even called for Dustin the Turkey, who represented Ireland at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, to replace Lydon.

She wrote: “So racist, Trump supporting, misogynist Johnny Rotten is apparently entering a song in the Irish Eurovision selection - frankly I say bring back Dustin the Turkey, or even better, the fabulous Jedward! #Eurovision2023”

Another person said: “So #JohnLydon #JohnnyRotten wants to represent Ireland at Eurovision? Surely #England would be better, like him it has become far-right, washed out, hypocritical, broken, full of hate, lies, cheating and living on past glories - a perfect fit?”

Someone else added: “There is so much songwriting and performer talent in Ireland, across every genre and style that would represent us so well… Can we just not with the Johnny Rotten garbage?”

Lydon has sparked furore in the past for making homophobic remarks in a 2005 BBC interview, where he said that he doesn’t like the idea of same-sex couples raising children as there “something missing”.

The 66-year-old has also publicly shown support for former US President Donald Trump and confirmed that he had voted for the Republican in the 2020 Presidential Election as he holds American citizenship.


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