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.