Austrian folk singer professes 'tolerance' as he accepts music award





Munich - Austrian "folk rock and roller" Andreas Gabalier rejected criticism of him for alleged homophobic and right-wing remarks Saturday as he accepted the Karl Valentin Order in Munich to honour his feel for traditional music and his ability to translate it into stadium rock anthems.



 
"If everyone was as tolerant as I am, I think we wouldn't have any problems in the world," Gabalier said.
The award stirred up controversy, with the 34-year-old's public remarks on gender equality, homosexuality and Christian traditions being revisited by the media ahead of Saturday's ceremony.
Gabalier has refused to sing the new version of the national anthem that includes a reference to women, and he has warned about the dawn of a "gender-poisoned era" in which men are forced to do housework.
At one Austrian award ceremony in 2015, he claimed that "it has become difficult to live as a man who likes women," a comment that has been criticized as anti-gay.
At the ceremony on Saturday, Gabalier criticized the media, claiming the allegations against him were untenable and motivated by "jealousy".
Karl Valentin was a Bavarian comedian who appeared in many silent films in the 1920s and was sometimes called the "Charlie Chaplin of Germany." He died in 1948. The award in his honour was established in 1973 by carnival organizers Narrhalla.
Sabine Rinberger, who runs the Valentin Karlstadt Museum said this week there is no comparing Gabalier to Valentin, calling Gabalier's social statements right-wing, decidedly homophobic and misogynistic.

 


Sunday, February 3rd 2019
(dpa)
           


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