Romani celebrity walks out in protest after neo-Nazi singer and his band win second place in Czech music awards
The results of the "Czech Nightingale" (Český slavík) audience appreciation poll were announced Saturday night in a live broadcast from the Karlín Musical Theater in Prague. Tomáš Ortel of the xenophobic band Ortel won two "Silver Nnightingales", the second-place award in two categories.
Radek Banga, the lead singer for the group Gipsy.cz, responded by leaving the theater. Ortel was applauded, but whistles of derision could also be heard, and the singer Pekař, who won the "Discovery of the Year" category had something to say about Ortel's win as well.
"My forebears were in a concentration camp. We must not tolerate Fascists in a poll like this. For God's sake, people, you have to discuss this, we cannot stay silent, we can't applaud this, we can't sit there and do nothing," Banga told news server Romea.cz.
"Our ancestors would have behaved much more harshly, we cannot give our silent consent to this," Banga said, adding that in his view most of the people who were sitting in the theater share his opinion but are afraid to do something about it. Pekař, the male vocalist who won "Discovery of the Year", seemed to indicate the same in his acceptance speech, saying: "[This award] is super, but it would be better if people weren't here who in my opinion have no business being here."
The xenophobic band Ortel won second place last year as well on the 50th anniversary of the award, and th eneo-Nazis past of lead singer Tomáš Ortel (who was given the surname Hnídek at birth) did not keep him from coming in third place in the male vocalist category last year. On Saturday he complained in one of his acceptance speeches that radio stations are not playing his band's music, which earned him lukewarm applause and some whistles of disapproval.
The absolute winner of the competition, once again, was the crooner Karel Gott. He also won the main award from the other singers themselves, for the 41st time.
The best female vocalist award went to Lucie Bílá and the best band award went to Kabát. The "Nightingales without Borders" award went to the Slovak group No Name.
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