Culture minister attacked for criticising reality shows

September 30, 2018

Serbian Culture Minister Vladan Vukosavljević has been criticised by his fellow ministers and even the Serbian Prime Minister for his harsh stance regarding reality programming on Serbia television, while he also sustained public insults and  saw himself disqualified from pro-government television channels and tabloid newspapers, among other things, as well as from the bodies tasked with overseeing television programming.

The minister stated recently that he was bothered by the fact that reality shows are broadcast on television stations with national frequencies and that he thinks they should be subjected to special paid subscription, which caused a storm both at the very top of the state and among supports of this administration.

The reality shows that have been broadcast over the last few years on two of the four commercial television stations with national frequencies are abundant with vulgarities and even physical violence and other inappropriate contents that are emitted without any problem during the middle of the day, while the heroes of these popular programmes even include former criminals or girls who appear in porn films.

Despite this, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and certain ministers did not support the culture minister’s stance, opting instead to criticise him for “forgetting” that the appearance of reality shows was actually the responsibility of current opposition leader Dragan Đilas. His former company, Emotion, created the first season of “Big Brother” in Serbia 12 years ago.

Željko Mitrović, owner of TV Pink, which is currently broadcasting the second season of the reality show “Zadruga” [The Cooperative],in which 18 million euros has allegedly been invested, referred to the minister, via TV Pink itself, as an ignoramus who insults his nation. Mitrović has previously used his television station with a national frequency to attack and accuse his critics, but also critics of the current government.

Criticisms and insults aimed at the culture minister, even calling out his baldness, continued through the declaration of Olivera Zekić, a member of the Council of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM). REM is otherwise known for being in the service of the authorities and for never reacting to the numerous violations of the code of conduct for television stations with national frequencies, but also for its uncritical support of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.