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"Exchanged over months" : Who is behind the "Close everything up" campaign?


More than 50 prominent film and television actors caused a sensation with a large-scale internet campaign under the motto #allesdichtmachen.

Artists such as Ulrich Tukur, Volker Bruch, Meret Becker, Ulrike Folkerts, Richy Müller, Jan Josef Liefers and many more distributed ironic-satirical clips with personal statements on the corona policy of the federal government and the tightening on Thursday evening on Instagram and on the video platform YouTube of the measures. The excitement on Friday was great, some withdrew their videos, but many questions remained unanswered.

What can you see in the videos?

"Without exception, close every human place of activity and every trading place," says Tukur, for example, on the federal government. “Not just theaters, cafés, schools, factories, bookstores, button shops, no, also all grocery stores, weekly markets and above all all the supermarkets.” And he adds: “Are we only starved in our bodies and not just in our souls all mouse dead, we also deprive the virus and its devious mutant baggage of its livelihood. "

In his clip, Richy Müller breathes alternately in two bags and comments ironically: "If everyone were to use two-bag breathing, we would no longer have a lockdown."

“Tatort” star Jan Josef Liefers thanks in his clip with an ironic undertone “to all the media in our country, who for over a year have been tirelessly responsible and with a clear attitude that the alarm stays exactly where it belongs, namely completely , at the top".

Scientists who come to different conclusions than the advisory experts of the federal government should not be given a stage, emphasizes Liefers in the satirical video. “After all, only very few specialists know what is good for us,” he continues.

Who is behind the campaign?

The company "Wunder am Werk" and its managing director Bernd K. Wunder are listed in the legal notice of the campaign. The Munich entrepreneur, who works in the film industry, told the Tagesspiegel, however, that he was just one of many involved, that there was no mastermind behind the action, for legal reasons someone had to be in the imprint. “We are a group of filmmakers who have been exchanging ideas for months,” Wunder said on the phone.

The NDR media magazine "Zapp" reports that the actors Volker Bruch, Jan Josef Liefers and the screenwriter and director Dietrich Brüggemann were among the initiators.

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The idea, on the other hand, came about “organically”, says Wunder, after all it was decided “to make art in order to show that we exist and that we can also be critical”. To this end, one “consciously chose the stylistic devices of exaggeration, satire, irony and exaggeration”.

The group is not against corona measures, said Wunder, and did not want to be “disrespectful to those with corona”. The only aim was to initiate an open-ended discussion about their appropriateness. It is a one-time thing, there are no further plans.

The reactions surprised him, said Wunder: "I would never have thought that the headwind would be so strong." That the videos are celebrated in "lateral thinkers" circles is "very difficult", that is "applause from the wrong corner" . And: "We clearly distance ourselves from pandemic deniers."

On his now private Instagram account, Wunder played down the danger of the virus between May and August 2020. His statements there are reminiscent of slogans of the “lateral thinking” movement. Referring to supporters of containment measures, he spoke of "scaremongering" and "coronazis" and equated the virus with the flu. Today he distances himself from these statements.

How does the “lateral thinker” scene react?

In Telegram groups that are close to the "lateral thinker" scene, the action has been a big topic since Thursday evening. The self-proclaimed leader of the conspiracy ideological “Freedom Parade”, “Captain Future” alias Michael B., writes: “Finally, artists are skilfully poking fun at the measures.” In groups and channels of the scene, the action is predominantly deliberately provocative and courageous rated. "Proof that normal people criticize," writes one user. Another group is happy that "the actors (...) got up".

The campaign is also receiving support from the right-wing extremist scene. The right-wing extremist conspiracy ideologist Oliver Janich, for example, praised Ulrich Tukur's appearance. Tukur is "one of our best". The right-wing extremist Saxon party “Free Saxony” thinks that Liefers “hit the establishment in the heart” and that Brambach delivered a “brilliant satire” about “informers”. And the right-wing extremist “Compact” magazine comments: “Finally! Germany's actors are waking up and taking a stand against the Corona dictatorship. "

Which participants distanced themselves from the action on Friday?

In a tweet several hours after the publication, Jan Josef Liefers distanced himself from conspiracy theories and the “lateral thinker” movement. The 56-year-old writes: “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. Point."

At “WDR Aktuell” he renewed his criticism of the media and the government on Friday. "I would like to have a big discussion about the role of the media in the pandemic," he said. And: "I just want these government decisions to be more transparent and not just take place behind closed doors and in prime ministerial meetings."

Heike Makatsch wrote on Instagram on Friday morning: "I distance myself clearly and unambiguously from right-wing ideas and right-wing ideologies." She withdrew her video. Actress Meret Becker ("Tatort") and her colleague Ken Duken ("Dream Factory") exercised self-criticism. Art must be able to ask questions, said Becker on Instagram. "But this action backfired."

They'll put the video down. “And I apologize that that could be misunderstood.” Becker said she was getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, keeping her distance and having herself tested regularly. The last thing she wanted was for the action to be instrumentalized by the right.

She criticized that a door for the economy was always kept open during the pandemic. The theaters are closed, but the planes are full. People have to go to work to keep the industry going. It is also about people dying alone. "Perhaps we should have said more about what is actually meant," she said. "Now it's on the nose."

[Also read: The pandemic weakens the rights of loved ones (T +)]

Ken Duken wrote on Instagram that he distanced himself from right-wing ideas. He is more than aware of the danger posed by the pandemic. He did not want to make fun of the victims or their relatives. “I advocate sensible measures and a vaccination strategy. This action went completely wrong. I apologize for any misunderstandings. "

How do other actors react?

On the night of Friday, various actors and actresses started a counter-action under the Twitter hashtags #allesschlichtmachen and #nichtganzdicht. “Tatort” actress Nora Tschirner replied with her Instagram profile: “Really yes, Leude? What's going on? , Make cynicism great again ‘? (...) It could be that you will be ashamed of yourself in a few years (weeks). Unfucking. "

Her “Tatort” colleague Christian Ulmen wrote on Instagram: “A bit ashamed of colleagues today. #allesschlichtmachen. ”Elyas M’Barek (“ Fack ju Göhte ”) commented on the video by Volker Bruch (“ Babylon Berlin ”):“ Come on, that's nonsense. What are you submitting to our government? (…) Cynicism doesn't help anyone. ”In it, Bruch ironically urged the federal government to please scare the citizens more.

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The actresses Alexandra Maria Lara, Sandra Hüller and Laura Tonke also turned against the # all sealing action. The actor Kida Khodr Ramadan ("4 blocks") explains in a video on Instagram that he was also asked for the action. But he refused because he did not feel that the creators had properly enlightened him about the goals.

What do the TV stations say about the campaign?

The ARD broadcasters concerned had agreed on their reactions. RBB spokesman Justus Demme told Tagesspiegel: “We advocate diversity of opinion in the RBB. The participating artists speak for themselves and on their own platform. We respect that and therefore don't comment on it. "

[Also read: This is how Berliners live in the gray area of ​​the Corona regulations (T +)]

Meret Becker works for the RBB as a "crime scene" commissioner. The reactions from MDR (Martin Brambach / “Tatort” Dresden) and SWR (Felix Klare and Richy Müller / both “Tatort” Stuttgart) were no different.

The ZDF did not want to comment on the action. Garrelt Duin, ex-SPD politician and member of the WDR Broadcasting Council, demanded in a tweet that the WDR should “end the cooperation with Liefers as soon as possible”. He deleted it after a shit storm hit him, and then tweeted: “The tweet this morning was crap. Exaggerated in terms of content and not appropriate for my role as a member of the Broadcasting Council. "

What do politicians say about the action?

"My heart is bleeding too because of the closings in the cultural sector," says Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters (CDU). You have great understanding that those affected point this out. But: "I would have liked the actors to have significantly more empathy for the people who are affected by the coronavirus or who do hard work in the health system."

Berlin's Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer (Linke) said that he shared some criticism “of the generality of the so-called emergency brake, which closes the way for us to learn how cultural life can be made possible under pandemic conditions”. At the same time he said: "I have little understanding for ignorance of the massive dangers and the consequences that Covid means for our society. Cynicism and scorn are inappropriate. "

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