"Gouden Kooi" to be taken off air

23rd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

"Gouden Kooi" to be taken off air

23 August 2007

AMSTERDAM (dpa) - Commercial TV broadcasting company RTL will take the controversial Golden Cage programme off the air by the end of this year.

In an interview with Dutch daily Volkskrant on Thursday, Fons van Westerloo of RTL Netherlands says the programme developed by John de Mol only remains on the air to enable De Mol to sell it abroad.

"Unless we have more than 1.5 million viewers, which I do not expect, the programme will stop by December," Van Westerloo told Volkskrant.

The Golden Cage is a reality TV show in the Big Brother mould. A group of people who have never met before commit themselves to stay on the secluded premises of a luxurious villa compound for a year.

The programme was launched in September 2006 and has caused public uproar ever since. In the show, cameras follow the participants 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Every day, the contestants get specific assignments from the TV producers that are designed to bully the other participants. Viewers vote every few weeks to decide which housemate should leave the villa.

The person who manages to remain in the villa for a whole year wins the game and receives EUR 1 million.

The controversial show is known for its many violent and sexist incidents, resulting in much protest throughout the Netherlands.

Van Westerloo was one of many people to criticise the programme.

Several physical fights have taken place in the luxurious villa, captured on camera and broadcast on national television. In July one participant appeared to be sexually assaulted by other participants.

Dutch political parties called on companies to stop airing their commercials before or after the broadcast. This followed a Labour party proposal several months ago that Dutch TV producers should commit themselves to a "code of ethics."

In late July, a group of Dutch nationals even launched an online petition to ask its producer John de Mol to take the show off the air immediately.

Until last week, the programme was broadcast on de Mol's Netherlands-based television channel Tien. But with Tien taken over by RTL Netherlands as of this week, the show now airs on RTL television, headquartered in Luxembourg.

That is one of the reasons the programme will have to disappear, Van Westerloo explains, because "Luxembourg broadcasting laws are stricter than those in the Netherlands."

John de Mol, who developed the Golden Cage, had earlier developed the Big Brother Show - a reality television concept that has been sold to producers worldwide.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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