The Copenhagen Voice

State Provided Sexism on Danish National TV - Blachman Naked Silenced Women Program on DR2

By Adam H. Trimboli

X-Factor Judge Hit By A Maelstrom Of Criticism For The Show He Considers Dazzling In Its Brilliance.

Rarely, if ever, has a TV show in Denmark created such a stir as X-Factor judge, Thomas Blachman’s new talk show, “Blachman.”  If anyone is in doubt, the show, that aired for the first time on DR2 last Tuesday, places a succession of naked and silent women in front Blachman and a studio guest, after which they give their sofa- borne take on the woman’s physical attributes.   Blachman thought up the concept himself, saying that his ambition was to stir discussion about the aesthetics of the female body without allowing the conversion to become pornographic or politically correct.   As Blachman himself puts it, he wished to “revise women’s view of men’s view of women.” 

Even before the show was aired, it received massive media attention.  This was closely followed by a maelstrom of criticism from newspaper critics who considered the show both sexist and humiliating for women.

This week has seen a vigorous debate unfold.  Opinion-makers, celebrities and commentators have not been slow to share their views on the program.  And on Facebook and Twitter, opposition to the show has been furious.

While some are antagonized by the silence of the women, others have, however, found it empowering to see normal women at the center of the media’s focus rather than, impossible to live up to ideals. 

The author, Knud Romer, calls the DR program a “Jørgen Leth” (a well-know cycle sport commentator and bon vivant who described having sex with his 16-year-old Haitian housemaid in his book of memoirs).  Romer does not think the programs proclaimed intentions of breaking down taboos or challenging stereotypes works.  On the contrary, he thinks that DR has produced a show that resembles a claustrophobic strip club which only serves to cement classic concepts of male dominance – something he says we should have been able to consign to the scrap heap of history years ago. 

Similarly,  opinion-maker and blogger, Lotte Hansen, is merciless in her criticism of Blachman and DR.   She calls the show “an unsuccessful attempt to intellectualize the Roskilde County Show – the only difference being that the young fillies on view in Roskilde have been replaced by naked women.”  

Hansen, like many others, was particularly disgusted by a sequence in which Blachman comments:  “Now, I’ve always been an ass man.  Would you mind turning around for a moment?  Very animated nipples.  How does that pussy work for you?”

Hansen has called for DR to cancel the show before this goes any further and her sentiments were echoed by Martin Lyngbo of Mungo Park Theater.   According to Lyngbo, Blachman’s show “institutionalizes already run-of-the-mill malechauvinistic thinking.”

Notwithstanding this, DR producer, Sofia Fromberg, believes the show must go on and does not think that the TV critics should have the final say about what is good for men and women.

She commented:  “Here we have a program that reveals what men think about the female body.  Quite honestly, what is wrong with that?”

Even though the women on view are not allowed to utter a single word, the viewing public has not remained as silent.

“In all their vulnerability, the women win our respect.  The first one simply smiled in an overbearing way while the embarrassed hosts were lost for words.  The second woman was stoic and mild in comparison to Jan Søndergaard (the studio guest) and Blachman who seemed to be in a frenzy of excitement. 

Thomas Blachman must have been on cloud 9 all last week.  At least  the heavy criticism does not appear to have dented his fat, fifty-something ego.  Commenting on BT’s report from his retreat in New York, Blachman wrote:  “Ungratefulness is the only thing that can really wear down the few geniuses who reside in this country.  Remember, I am giving you something that you have never seen before.   Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

This coming Tuesday, we will see how much appetite the viewers have for more of Blachman’s controversial cuisine.

Unless otherwise stated, quotes translated from reports Jyllands-Posten.

 

 

Views: 16973

Tags: arts&music, blachman, cphvoice, danish, denmark, dr, dr2, exploitation, sexism, sexual

Comment by Davidaron on May 8, 2013 at 17:30

Watch a recent episode of "Blachman" with English captions here. (Warning: NSFW)

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