A group of German TV actors are facing a backlash after satirical YouTube videos mocking blocking measures aimed at fighting the country’s third coronavirus wave.
Using a hashtag that translates to the phrase “close all”, more than 50 actors participated in the campaign. While some simply complained about having to stay indoors, others turned elaborate stories to make their point. One actor, Maxim Mehmet, said he kept his two children separated in a small apartment for over a year to keep them from infecting each other. Another actor, Richy Müller, claimed that he breathed air from one bag and exhaled it into another to avoid getting the virus.
While members of the increasingly aggressive German coronavirus denier movement and far-right politicians cheered the campaign, it was largely crushed on social media and in the news. The out-of-the-ordinary effort was reminiscent of an ill-conceived viral chant last year in which Hollywood stars gathered to perform John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
The videos were posted on Thursday evening and on Friday morning the first participants made statements distancing themselves from the message of the campaign. Some videos were deleted and the campaign webpage was no longer active.
“For this to be exploited by the right is really the last thing I wanted,” Meret Becker, one of the actors involved, said in an Instagram post Friday.