RTL2 has axed a documentary series featuring controversial German singer Michael Wendler and his wife Laura Müller following an intense backlash.
Wendler has sparked criticism after making antisemitic remarks and linking Germany’s COVID protocols to Nazi politics. Throughout the pandemic, Wendler said repeatedly that the pandemic was a large-scale conspiracy and accused local media for pushing its agenda. RTL had previously tapped him as juror for its show “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” and ousted him after he made headlines with several conspiracy theories tied once again to the pandemic.
The six-part docusoap which RTL2 had commissioned and announced on Tuesday, was meant to focus on Wendler and his wife’s pregnancy. The couple lives in the U.S.
News of the production sparked uproar on social media in Germany, notably from other reality TV stars, such as Robert and Carmen Geiss, a wealthy family considered as the local Kardashians. The family, which hosts “The Geissens – A Terribly Glamorous Family,” even threatened to end their contract with the broadcaster.
In a statement released on Wednesday, RTL2 said it “noticed the vehemence of the reactions and take the voices of (its) audience seriously.” “We apologize if we have hurt feelings here,” the network continued.
RTL2 also said it “has always distanced itself from extremism of all kinds and stands for open-mindedness and tolerance.”
The broadcaster said the docuseries had not yet gone into production, and added that the producers EndemolShine Germany and Rainer Laux Productions, both of which are part of Banijay, “fully support this decision.” Banijay declined to comment.