Nothing will come of the return to German television: RTL2 stops the planned docu-soap with pop singer Michael Wendler (50) after criticism. The program will not be produced and broadcast. “We noticed the vehemence of the reactions and take the voices of our audience seriously. We apologize if we have hurt feelings here, ”says a message from RTL2.
There was a lot of criticism of the planned format, especially on social media. The singer, who emigrated to the United States, and his pregnant wife Laura should be seen preparing for the birth of their first child together.
Other stars of the station also spoke up, such as the reality TV stars of the Geiss family ("Die Geissens"). Robert and Carmen Geiss criticized RTL2 for the planned Wendler show and even threatened to leave. The millionaire family has been under contract with the station for years with its own format ("The Geissens – A Terribly Glamorous Family").
“We distance ourselves in the strongest terms from corona deniers and people who call Germany a “concentration camp”. Conspiracy ideological statements are not our style," says the message on Instagram, which refers to the pop singer's previous political statements.
RTL2 also emphasized political and moral reasons in its statement. The broadcaster always distances itself from extremism of all kinds and stands for open-mindedness and tolerance, it says. "It is important to us to avoid even the appearance that the broadcaster is willing to compromise here. That's why we won't be pursuing the project with Michael Wendler any further. The producers EndemolShine Germany and Rainer Laux Productions fully support this decision.”
The docu-soap with the controversial singer and his wife Laura was only announced on Tuesday. Six parts about Laura Müller's pregnancy were planned to be broadcast this year.
Wendler has been an extremely controversial figure since autumn 2020 at the latest. At the time, he had published a video on Corona policy in Germany that caused a scandal. Among other things, he accused television stations – including his home broadcaster RTL at the time – of being “synchronized”.
RTL, which had hired him as a juror for its casting show “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” at the time, then called Wendler a conspiracy theorist and immediately distanced itself from him. After another statement by Wendler about Germany as a "concentration camp", it was then completely cut from episodes of the casting format that had already been shot. Speech bubbles replaced statements from him. Allegedly, "KZ" was an abbreviation for "crisis center," he later claimed. In the general public, however, the letters were perceived as a synonym for the "concentration camps" of the National Socialists.
After that, Wendler, previously a frequently booked protagonist for reality formats such as jungle camp or "Celebrity Big Brother", disappeared from major television productions. Especially in the messenger service Telegram – which is considered a place of refuge for people who spread conspiracy stories – you could still track Michael Wendler content. On the Instagram channel of his wife Laura, among other things, a “Die Wendlers” account was advertised on the erotic portal OnlyFans.