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Actors reap a lot of criticism with Corona protest videos

There are numerous greats of the German-speaking acting scene who spoke up on Thursday via Twitter and YouTube with exaggerated, ironic statements against the corona policy in Germany and Austria.

In addition to Jan Josef Liefers and Meret Becker, there are also local representatives such as Manuel Rubey, Nicholas Ofczarek and Nina Proll. There was support for the coordinated action, but also a lot of criticism.

“Especially with a private issue like my health, I don't really want to rely on myself. I am glad that the state has made my health a public matter, ”explains cabaret artist Roland Düringer in one of a total of 51 short videos that were uploaded to YouTube. Nina Proll, on the other hand, states: “I used to think that I could pursue a career freely and independently. But that was naive! The pandemic showed me where my place is. She showed me that distance can also be closeness. ”Ultimately, the mime concludes:“ Life can be fatal. Stay at home forever and support the corona measures. "

The statements are underpinned by the hashtags #allesdichtmachen, #niewiederaufmachen and #lockdownfürimmer. The thrust is always the same: If certain areas of life are already being closed due to the measures to contain the coronavirus, that can be expanded to include everything - "including all grocery stores, weekly markets and above all all the supermarkets", as Ulrich Tukur did, for example calls in his video.

It is not yet clear who initiated the action. The actors post on Twitter via their personal accounts; the YouTube channel in question from #allesdichtmachen has no further information apart from the videos (and already has more than 26,000 subscribers). The site was set up on April 16, and so far the posts have received a total of 1.63 million views (as of Friday morning).

The proponents received encouragement from the former President of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, who called the action “great” on Twitter. The Hamburg virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit spoke of a “masterpiece” that “should make us think a lot”. AfD member of the Bundestag Joana Cotar tweeted: “This is an intelligent protest.” She celebrates Jan Josef Liefers.

In many cases, however, there was also criticism, because the celebrities would place themselves in the camp of right-wing and lateral thinkers with their statements. The Austrian actor Elyas M’Barek wrote, for example: "Cynicism does not help anyone." Everyone wants to return to normal, and that will happen. Satirist Jan Böhmermann countered the action on Twitter that the only video that you should watch "if you have problems with Corona containment measures" is the ARD documentary from the Berlin Charité with the title "Station 43 - Die". To do this, he put the hashtag #allenichtganzdicht, which is now spreading more and more on Twitter.

The German federal government, however, initially held back with evaluations. "The federal government has taken note of this action and our position is well known: We are working to ensure that Germany can overcome the pandemic quickly," said the government spokeswoman in charge. After all, Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) made the initiators an offer of dialogue: "That there is criticism and questions about the measures and the background is not just normal, I find it desirable in a free democracy."

Meanwhile, Berlin's left-wing cultural senator Klaus Lederer took a position against the action. "I can well understand that after 13 months of pandemic it is difficult to maintain strength and confidence," said the left-wing politician: "But I have little understanding for ignorance of the massive dangers and the consequences that Covid means for our society . Cynicism and scorn are inappropriate. "

The German Federal Drama Association (BFFS) abstained from positioning itself. "Some of our colleagues took part in this campaign, some others condemn it in the strongest possible way," said the board of directors: "Fortunately, we live in a democracy and have to fight and argue about the best way out of this global pandemic." The President of the German Stage Association, Hamburg's Senator for Culture Carsten Brosda (SPD), however, joined the list of critics. The campaign shows “how increasingly fragile the situation in our society is. It also shows that we have to take care and express and discuss the contradictions of our time. But please be constructive and not just sarcastic. "

How seriously the action is meant cannot yet be clearly assessed. During the night, Liefers distanced himself from any proximity to conspiracy theorists and lateral thinkers. “A growing closeness to unconventional thinkers and the like, which has been oracles. I clearly reject it, "wrote the 56-year-old on Twitter. “There is no party in the current spectrum of the Bundestag that I am further from than the AfD. Because we're at it, that also applies to Reich citizens, conspiracy theorists, corona ignoramuses and aluminum hats. Period. ”Heike Makatsch did the same, emphasizing that she did not want to lessen the suffering of corona patients. "Through art and satire I have chosen the path to show the changes in our society and to create space for a critical discourse."

In the meantime, the actors involved, Meret Becker and Ken Duken, also distanced themselves. "This action backfired," said Becker on her Insta account and announced that she would have her video removed: "And I apologize that that could be misunderstood." Duken also wrote on Instagram that he distanced himself of right-wing ideas and right-wing ideologies: “I advocate sensible measures and a vaccination strategy. This action went completely wrong. I apologize for any misunderstandings. "

There was also another comment from Rubey, who started a video on Twitter Friday morning with "If you slept through your own shitstorm". He was asked by a person he valued and made a contribution "on the importance of art", to which he still stands. "He denies nothing and nothing at all." He does not know the other contributions. "I also don't know whether anyone has any intentions - I don't really think so, just to stimulate the debate." In any case, he does not want to "come even a millimeter near any Covid deniers." The disease is " extremely dangerous, but that wasn't my concern for a second ”. He will now take himself out of the debate.