Shortly before the planned broadcast of "Erwachsen auf Probe," criticism of the RTL show does not subside. The media bishop of the German Bishops' Conference, Rottenburg-Stuttgart Bishop Gebhard Furst, called the TV series, in which babies are loaned to teenagers who want to have children, cynical and tasteless. In an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on Thursday in Stuttgart, he called for the series not to be broadcast.
KNA: Mr. Bishop, what is your assessment of the new RTL docu-soap?
Prince: I have massive reservations about the series. Because I take the findings of experienced pedagogues and child psychologists very seriously, who point out the psychological damage for very young children. Children are not toys. They deserve the greatest care and consideration. Especially at an age when children make the most important experiences for their later life in contact with familiar people and where brain-physiologically decisive things happen, they must not be given into the care of completely inexperienced and unprepared young people. Here, the welfare of children is put aside in favor of the voyeurism of viewers. The Church cannot agree with this.
CBA: Could the series help the teenagers involved to get an idea of what it means to have children?
Prince: I also consider the production to be a disregard for the need to protect teenagers in their maturation process towards adulthood. Growing up is not something you do "on trial"; for young people, growing up is often an arduous struggle to find their own identity. If young people need guidance and support in this, then a docu-soap in front of millions of viewers is surely the very last way I can think of to do this.
CBA: RTL defends the broadcasting concept by pointing to educational work against teenage pregnancies. Couldn't the program also have positive educational effects?
Furst: It seems to me that the alleged pedagogical goal of discouraging teenagers from getting pregnant prematurely by letting them experience firsthand the difficulties that dealing with babies can cause is problematic. The right way to achieve this goal is to educate children as early as possible to deal responsibly with sexuality. Preventively abusing children as a cautionary tale is in bad taste and downright cynical.
CBA: How do you assess the development of new private television formats beyond the specific case in question??
Prince: I see an increasing tendency in many productions on private television to instrumentalize people, to show them up and also to expose them to general ridicule. This is an alarming attack on the inviolable dignity of the human being. The fact that we are doing this in the 60. As we note in the 50th year of the Basic Law, this must lead to an honest and critical self-determination of our society with regard to its handling of fundamental human rights.
CBA: Despite the criticism, RTL wants to broadcast the show as planned from 3. Broadcast June…
Prince: I call on RTL not to broadcast the series.