On screen sexual harassment is changing Dutch reality TV

The MeToo movement and increased awareness about sexual harassment is changing the reality TV scene in the Netherlands. After scrapping reality show De Villa last week, RTL and Videoland announced that they will no longer broadcast programs in the "guilty pleasure" genre, such as reality show Temptation Island, for the time being, the Volskrant reports.

De Villa is a reality show in which eight young singles live in luxurious accommodations in Spain. The show caused a commotion last week, when a male participant pulled an intoxicated female participant's g-string aside.

"We are shocked to death", RTL program director Peter van der Vorst said after speaking with production company Blue Circle and with the participants of De Villa. According to RTL, the production company encouraged participants to engage in behavior that crosses a line. "Alcohol was involved, certain orders were given of which even the candidates said: isn't this going too far?" Van der Vorst said.

RTL immediately removed the program from the screen. "Sexual harassment is unacceptable and should never be promoted, not on screen nor behind the scenes." the broadcaster explained its decision. Two employees were also suspended. Both RTL and Blue Circle's parent company Fremantle apologized for the situation in which the show's participants found themselves. 

For the time being, RTL will also stop showing new episodes of Temptation Island, in which tempters put the love of a number of couples to the test. And another format of this same show, for which candidates have already been invited to participate, is suspended at least temporarily, according to the newspaper. 

Tina Nijkamp, former program director of SBS6, is delighted by RTL's decision. "I think it is decisive. These types of programs no longer fit into this time of MeToo. I was surprised that RTL had ordered more programs like De Villa and Love Island."

Tags: