Anti-Semitic Jokes on German ′Big Brother′ | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 13.10.2004
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Anti-Semitic Jokes on German 'Big Brother'

The German version of the reality show "Big Brother" has run into trouble after one of its contestants told a series of offensive jokes about Jews on live national television, the broadcaster said Wednesday. The head of pay-TV service Premiere, Georg Kofler, fired two employees who allowed the scene to be broadcast on Oct. 2 after he learned about the incident in the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday. The program features a cast of candidates who live in a house together for several weeks under the constant watch of dozens of television cameras. Viewers call in each week to vote out a player until one winner is left. The candidate in question, an Italian-born waiter named Michele from the northern German city of Hamburg, told three anti-Semitic jokes on the patio of the Big Brother house while on camera, a commercial TV station that also broadcasts the show, RTL II, said Wednesday. "Michele was sternly warned and threatened with being kicked out," the spokesman said. Viewers, however, took matters into their own hands and voted Michele out of the show last week. The Bavarian state media authority (BLM), which is responsible for RTL II, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the incident was classified as a "violation of human dignity" -- illegal in Germany. (AFP)

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