After a questionable saying, Faisal Kawusi has fallen out of favor.Bild: picture alliance / Photoshot
This week the focus at RTL is on LGBTIQ+. Appropriately, the broadcaster showed the new format “Viva La Diva” on Monday evening. The principle behind it: Seven celebrities turn into drag queens and are to be exposed by two advice teams. Among others, Mickie Krause, David Odonkor and Steffen Hallaschka appeared. The winner was a comedian from the format who recently made negative headlines. RTL distanced itself from the celebrity’s statements on social media immediately after the end of the show, but that wasn’t enough for many viewers.
RTL: controversy in the new drag show
Actually, “Viva La Diva” was very well received by the audience, as can be seen from the reactions on the Internet. The award ceremony, however, changed the mood. “Madame LeStrange” initially caused a storm of enthusiasm with her appearance on “This is me” from the film “The Greatest Showman” and was guessed correctly by both teams: Faisal Kawusi turned out to be this drag queen.
Why many viewers were angry at the end: In the spring of this year, a joke by the comedian about knockout drops backfired, and his regular broadcaster Sat.1 no longer wants to continue the collaboration. But now Kawusi suddenly wins an RTL show that is dedicated to celebrating tolerance and diversity. Immediately after the broadcast, the broadcaster made a statement on social networks stating:
“We distance ourselves from the statements made by Faisal Kawusi on social media in April. ‘Viva La Diva’ was already recorded in March 2022.”
“There is no place for discrimination and disrespect here, everyone involved agrees,” the broadcaster also emphasizes. However, if you read the reactions in the comments, those responsible could have solved the situation better. For example, a user would have preferred to see the text as an overlay on the show: “Something like that would reach more people if it was shown at the end of the show. So the distancing isn’t that important after all?”
The otherwise successful new format is now overshadowed for this viewer too: “It doesn’t help anymore, the actually quite good show has a bitter aftertaste and it will be remembered.” And a user says: “A little too late to take it seriously now.” Elsewhere there is finally a taunt: “You’re lying to yourself now…”
Although this user can also understand RTL’s position, he also criticizes it: “RTL can’t stamp the show, just because of Kawusi. It is important that they set a sign for the community at all. On the other hand, Kawusi is really not TV material again right now. Fading in at the end would have made more sense,” is his verdict.
Shortly after Steffen Hallaschka appeared on the RTL show “Viva la Diva” this week and turned into a drag queen, he dropped out of “Stern TV”. However, a replacement has already been arranged.