updates: As reported by DWDL, RTL 2 is now completely canceling the Wendler documentary soap. The statement from RTL 2: “We noticed the vehemence of the reactions and take the voices of our audience seriously. We apologize if we have hurt feelings here.” Initially, the RTL Group had announced that it would not use the production on its RTL+ streaming service as usual. The original article follows.
Michael Wendler had not appeared on German television for more than two years. With the spread of conspiracy stories, Holocaust relativization and NS comparisons in the context of the corona pandemic, he had maneuvered himself into the sidelines. On Tuesday, RTL 2 announced that it wanted to publish a baby documentary with the pop singer and his wife Laura Wendler.
With the announcement, the broadcaster triggered a shitstorm among viewers and TV experts. Shortly thereafter, it became known: RTL Germany itself does not agree with the program.
Crisis caused by Wendler documentary: RTL distances itself from RTL 2 production
RTL normally uses productions and content from RTL 2 on its in-house streaming service RTL+. In the case of the Wendler documentary, that will not happen, as the broadcaster announced on Twitter.
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RTL ended its collaboration with Wendler after his statements in 2020. His already wacky appearances for the talent show DSDS were excised or defaced. All content with the pop singer was removed from RTL +.
What exactly does the decision for the Wendler documentary and for RTL 2 mean?
The step not to show the documentary on the platform is therefore not unexpected, but it means a unique break in the cooperation between RTL Germany and RTL 2. The two stations belong to the same group. However, the RTL Group only holds 35.9 percent of RTL 2. The broadcaster can therefore make relatively independent decisions about content.
As the industry magazine DWDL writes, the RTL step means not using the documentary, heavy financial losses for RTL 2. “This is a significant contribution to our business result”it was said in the past from the management.
It remains to be seen how exactly this development will affect the publication of the Wendler documentary. As DWDL reports, there is also internal dissatisfaction with the production from RTL 2 circles – in addition to the already immense public and media pressure.