An Israeli co-presenter of Eurovision 2019 has said he will donate his presenting fee to a charity working with Israeli youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ+).
Assi Azar, who is gay, donated his £23,000 salary to Israeli Gay Youth (IGY) which he said did “holy work” across Israeli society dealing with LGBTQ+ issues.
“To host the Eurovision for money is definitely something that I won’t do,” he said. “It’s for my soul and to represent the country with respect. If you can do something good with the salary that they pay, why not?”
Azar, who came out as gay in 2006 and is now an Israeli LGBTQ+ icon, said IGY was “an organisation that I’ve known for years,” adding that it was “only natural that I will do everything I can to aid with the holy work that they do”.
The son of Yemenite and Bukharian Jews, Azar hosts two reality TV shows: The Next Star and Ninja Israel. He also co-wrote Israeli TV show The Baker and the Beauty, which is being adapted for US audiences.
Watch Assi Azar interviewing Madonna during Eurovision: