German Idol may be fined $147,000 after auditioning teen suffers breakdown

The German version of Idol, known as Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar, may be fined $147,000 for causing a teenager who auditioned to have a mental breakdown.

During the audition episodes, “a 17-year old boy was so upset by the audition and the jury’s criticisms that he hyperventilated and collapsed. Since his appearance on the show, where his full name and hometown were made public, he has received hundreds of hateful phone calls and has been forced to take leave from school,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Germany’s Cultural Council says the network, RTL, has displayed “malicious disregard” for its contestants and viewers. “Insults and anti-social behavior were presented as the norm, just as they were last season. (The show) presents a mode of behavior to children that acts against the goals of education and child development such as respect and tolerance,” said Wolf-Dieter Ring, the council’s chair.

Breakdown has German talent show in dutch [The Hollywood Reporter]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.