Media Council: the 24-hour online streaming of ValóVilág is in violation of the law

Published: 16 February 2023

Several episodes of ValóVilág are offensive to human dignity, and the 24-hour online streaming constantly puts the cast in humiliating and degrading situations, while also violating child protection rules, the Media Council has found. At its last meeting, the Council also found a joke by a member of the Showder Club that stigmatised the Roma community to be exclusionary.

Since the launch of the 11thseason of ValóVilág, the NMHH has received an exceptionally high number of complaints about the show’s objectionable content.

The official inspection also revealed violations of the rules prohibiting the violation of human dignity and the self-serving and degrading portrayal of vulnerable persons, as well as violations of the provisions on the protection of minors.

The 11thseason of ValóVilág is broadcast by the media service provider on its online service RTL+, in the form of a 24-hour live stream, thereby presenting the lives of the villagers to subscribers 24 hours a day. Some of the cameras that continuously broadcast the lives of the characters are located in places where they perform or may perform intimate activities (such as bedrooms, bathrooms, toilets), which is particularly humiliating and degrading for the characters, and therefore the entire content broadcast live constitutes a continuous infringement, as the reality genre tools and visual effects used by the media service provider violate human dignity, and there is also a self-serving and degrading portrayal of vulnerable persons – the Media Council concluded.

Several episodes of the programme broadcast on RTL Kettő channel have also contained these infringements, in addition to the violation of the legal provisions on the protection of children.

Also on RTL Kettő channel, an episode of Showder Club was broadcast on 10 November 2022, which was investigated by the Authority following a notification. The comedian jokingly made remarks in connection with an advertisement on a television channel that clearly referred to stereotypes against the Roma community. The opinion concerned the Roma community, in a generalised way, and, due to its stigmatising nature, it was capable of reinforcing existing prejudices in society. For these reasons, the programme under investigation was also found to be infringing.

If no response is received from Luxembourg, the Authority plans to take further action

RTL Kettő channel is operated by a Luxembourg-based media service provider, and the Media Council is therefore notifying the Luxembourg counterpart authority with jurisdiction (Autorité Luxembourgeoise Indépendante de l'Audiovisuel: ALIA) of the infringements under Hungarian law and requesting it to take the necessary measures. 

On the basis of the request, the counterpart authority must call on the service provider to comply with Hungarian law and inform the Media Council and the European Commission of the steps it has taken to resolve the problems. It must then inform the Media Council within two months of the results achieved or, if no solution has been found, explain why.

If the Member State having jurisdiction does not act within the deadline or if the results achieved are not satisfactory, the Media Council may take further action. Subject to the conditions set out in the legislation, the Council is then empowered to take action against the offending media service provider.