Endemol yet to sell 'disgusting' sperm shows

25th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

25 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Dutch television company Endemol has not yet succeeded in selling its controversial "battle of the sperm" shows to foreign television broadcasters.

25 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch television company Endemol has not yet succeeded in selling its controversial "battle of the sperm" shows to foreign television broadcasters.

The company is producing two shows in which sperm will play a central role, the first of which has been dubbed "Sperm Race".

Intended for the German market, a German judged to have the best sperm will win a sports car. But Endemol has yet to enter negotiations with potential buyers for the Sperm Race programme.

The second show, "Make Me a Mum" — which Endemol is aiming at British and US viewers — will go a step further than Sperm Race. The six-part series will see men battle it out for the main prize: the opportunity to make several women pregnant. The artificial insemination will be televised live.

Endemol said it is not currently in talks with any television broadcasters interested in buying the shows. A spokeswoman for the international division of Endemol said this was due to the ongoing holiday period, news agency nu.nl reported.

In response to the proposed programmes, the Christian Democrat CDA has lodged parliamentary questions with Media State Secretary Medy van der Laan. She admitted on Wednesday that the shows cannot be banned under current Dutch media legislation.

But if the shows are to be broadcast in the Netherlands, they must meet the nation's embryo laws, which state that embryos, egg cells or sperm may not be used for commercial purposes.

The Health Ministry confirmed at the end of July it will take action against Endemol International if it moves to have the shows broadcast in the Netherlands.

Democrat D66 junior minister Van der Laan said on Wednesday she agreed with the CDA that the shows were in "bad taste", "worthless" and "disgusting".

Van der Laan also said compliance to norms and standards — in this case ethical principles — is the responsibility of media companies, but that these principles must nevertheless be adhered to.

Despite her concern over the nature of the shows, Van der Laan does not intend to place the issue on the European agenda because of the diversity in European Union member state legislation regarding medical-ethical matters and media content.

If the programmes became a topic for discussion at the European level, the Netherlands will then get involved in the debate.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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