The makers of Germany’s popular reality TV show “Big Brother” aired on private broadcaster RTL II confirmed on Sunday they had dropped a candidate after she used a Nazi expression.
The 24-year-old, identified only as Rebecca, is said to have used the expression “Sieg Heil” after a heated debate in the Cologne-based TV studios where the new season of the reality show is being shot. The expression which means “hail victory” was commonly used at political rallies and mass gatherings during the Nazi era in Germany.
“We took Rebecca out of the house right after she used the expression because it is absolutely unacceptable to us,” RTL II program director, Axel Kühn said on Saturday in Munich.
Kühn said it didn’t matter whether the expression was used because the candidate was in a foul mood or because she was unaware of its meaning.
“There are clear social rules which have to be upheld in Big Brother. Those who break them, have to bear the consequences,” Kühn said.
The channel said it would cut out the offending scene with Rebecca in its daily broadcast of the show. However, subscribers to the dedicated 24-hour Big Brother pay TV channel were able to follow the gaffe live.
Big Brother has been plagued by controversy since it began airing its eight season earlier this year. One contestant had to pack his bags for making paedophile jokes. In an earlier season, another candidate had to leave for cracking anti-Jewish jokes and a few years ago, another contestant stirred controversy for sporting what some claimed was a Nazi tattoo.
The current Big Brother show has 11 contestants who are filmed round the clock and who are gradually voted out by viewers. A cheque for €250,000 awaits the one who survives the longest.