NewsARD no longer shows Winnetou – but ZDF and...

ARD no longer shows Winnetou – but ZDF and many other broadcasters are not following suit

Created: 8/30/2022 3:24 p.m

A heated debate has been going on for days about Karl May’s classic books and their film adaptations. TV stations have now announced that they will no longer broadcast Winnetou.

Kassel – 110 years after the death of Karl May, Germany is under the spell of a Winnetou debate. It’s about the “I-word”, racism and cultural appropriation. In the meantime, some television stations have announced that they will no longer broadcast any of the Winnetou films from the 1960s.

The debate was triggered by the children’s film “The Young Chief Winnetou”, which was released in German cinemas on August 11th. Shortly thereafter, Ravensburger Verlag announced that it would be removing the children’s book of the same name and some games based on the film from the publisher’s range. The publisher justified this in an Instagram post with user feedback that showed “that we hurt the feelings of others with the Winnetou titles”.

Streit um Abenteuer-Autor Karl May
The dispute was triggered by the children’s film “The Young Chief Winnetou”. © -picture alliance/dpa/Leonine

Controversy over the “I word”: Can you still see the “Winnetou” films?

In the meantime, the debate has spread widely: ARD announced that it would no longer broadcast “Winnetou” films on its stations. The license rights expired in 2020 and there are no plans to acquire them again, the ARD program director told dpa.

ZDF, on the other hand, holds the broadcasting rights to the films and does not plan to remove them from the program: the classic Karl May films with Pierre Brice and Lex Barker should continue to be broadcast, a spokeswoman for the station told dpa on Friday. For example, on the day of German unity, October 3rd, the film “Winnetou and the Half-Blood Apanatschi” will be shown there at 11:30 a.m. Dieter Hallervorden also got involved in the debate and considers the criticism of Winnetou to be paternalistic.

The Winnetou novels
Appeared: 1893
Author: Karl May
worldwide circulation: an estimated 200 million, 100 million in Germany alone

Dispute over Winnetou: After the ARD cancellation – ZDF and other broadcasters want to hold on to the license rights

The film – a German-Italian-Yugoslavian co-production from 1966 – also stars the young Uschi Glas and the actor Götz George.

ZDF is not alone in this: RTL is also sticking to the broadcast and keeping the new film “Winnetou – The Myth Lives” (2016) in its online offering. However, further broadcast dates on TV have not yet been set there. Kabel-Eins also wants to continue broadcasting Winnetou films , as broadcaster Marc Rasmus explained to (con)

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