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Dispute about "Germany’s Next Top Model?" Nothing new. But in the last episode of the casting show, an argument between two candidates frightened even die-hard fans.
When the model candidates compete in Heidi Klum's hit show, emotions boil. The audience is used to that and most of the viewers are waiting longingly for it. In the "Germany’s Next Top Model" episode from February 11th, however, a rift reached a new level.
After a photo shoot, a conflict broke out between two candidates. The violent sentence came up: "When I'm at home and see these interviews and you really said: 'I think my shoot went wrong because of Lili' or that I could be the reason somehow - I'll break your legs", Liliana threatened her competitor Soulin.
Verbal violence is also violence
This last, casually pronounced sentence - threatening bodily harm - clearly shows how harmless and unproblematic verbal violence is still classified. Often one hears afterwards as an alleged excuse: "You wouldn't have meant it that way." But sentences of this kind have an exemplary effect. If they are not criticized, violence will be normalized. The result is an impact on the potential for violence of those who hear the statements. In this case, the young GNTM audience.
It is important for us to note that with our contribution we do not want to put Liliana in the crossfire of criticism, but rather question those responsible at ProSieben. The broadcaster left the threat uncommented. Even more: Heidi Klum's cheerful comment on "Some solve conflicts, others get closer", downplayed the situation. Quite honestly, we know better conflict resolution strategies.
We received the following statement from ProSieben broadcaster Christoph Körfer:
"If you take this sentence out of context, it sounds really very harsh - and like the threat of physical violence. If you see it in context, it stands for the disappointment and frustration of the candidate. That is certainly raw language, which is obvious Some young people speak that way. But we can assure you that the candidate was not and is not concerned with physical violence. We welcome the debate about this sentence.
Unfortunately, ProSieben only refers to Liliana's statements and not to her own decisions in the context of the show. When asked by telephone as to whether the broadcaster was not aware of its role model function towards young people, there was no official answer.
Is a threat that is given quickly a criminal offense?
But what is the legal situation? To this end, we consulted Patrick O. Kainz from "Law and Beyond": "In Austria, the statement would most likely be classified as a 'dangerous threat'. The courts then examine whether what has been said is objectively a justified concern and a 'profound impairment of the State of mind '- such as fear and restlessness - can evoke. And whether the perpetrator wanted to bring about that. It is not decisive whether the threatened candidate was actually afraid."
However, this is not the only decisive factor, the lawyer knows: "The courts must also investigate whether it could have been a so-called 'milieu-related expression of displeasure'. Because a 'I'll break your legs' in dance lessons with Elmayer probably has less space than at a local amateur league football game. " In addition, the exact circumstances under which the statement was made must be taken into account: Was the setting impaired by milieu, tone, age, arousal or alcohol? "It would be exciting to know whether the courts would assess the heated mood in the model competition as such an accompanying circumstance," says Kainz, analyzing the situation.
In Germany, according to Christian Lödden from "lexhades Rechtsanwälte", the statement is not (yet) punishable. The fact of the threat comes into question. However, it needs to be combined with a crime: "According to German law, this is a criminal offense that is punishable by at least one year of imprisonment. A broken leg, however, is bodily harm that only results in a fine or six months' imprisonment." But that may change in the near future. Because with the new law to combat right-wing extremism and hate crime, Liliana's statement would be punishable.