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Jun 05 2007

The Swedish People Have Lost Their Balls of Steel

No More Balls In Sweden

Is it humor or is it just plain STUPID behavior? Provoking people, intimidating them, humiliating them, scaring them, ruining an otherwise good day for them – is that really entertainment?

“Balls of Steel”, the TV-series that hasn’t even been AIRED yet sure has managed to get a lot of attention.

But what recently has been discussed back and forth in the media really isn’t any GOOD publicity.

“Balls of Steel” is suppose to be a humor series, the idea comes from a British series with the same name, and the “special guests” in the series are suppose to perform stunts, holding their nerve during hidden camera set-ups, by being juvenile and stupid in the presence of celebrities or the Swedish public. Somewhere in the program idea there is also suppose to be a competition kind of thing, but the whole concept just sounds ridiculous to me…

Just HOW funny is it to be on the receiving end of one of these pranks?

Just ask the Swedish prime minister, who thought he was going to be interviewed on TV when he attended the premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, but instead got soaked with water… How fun was that?

Or ask the Swedish singers Carola and Markoolio, they too got splashed by the TV-team… “They should be happy that we do the ‘nice version’ and only use water, in the British series they squirt ink”, was one of the comments the TV-team had made after the incident with the soaked prime minister.

Or ask the people at the mall, who thought they had walked right into a robbery, with security personnel chasing a thief – how fun was it for these people to be scared half to death, how funny is it to go through an ordeal like this and then find out that it was suppose to be a JOKE!?!

“Humiliation TV”?!? If they want to do it to themselves, in a TV-studio, that would be much better if you ask me. At least then the public will be spared from their…, what was it again – their “juvenile and stupid” show!

Shortly after being squirted, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was interviewed on Television here in Sweden. He came off very well. He took it is stride, kept his head and did not lose his temper. I was outraged that this kind of stunt was pulled on our Prime Minister. This was not only stupid but dangerous. visions of Acid Bombers went through my mind in the days following the prank. The Government officials of Sweden do not isolate themselves from the public. In public they respond to questions and when they appear on TV debate shows they are warm and interactive. I do not want this relationship between the public and the government to change.

‘Balls of Steel’ stop rolling

Published: 1st June 2007 09:19 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/7474/

SVT and Strix have agreed to cancel production of the television comedy series ‘Balls of Steel’ following widespread criticism of a practical joke involving Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Production company Strix had been in the process of recording on behalf of national broadcaster SVT a Swedish version of the British Channel 4 show.

Just over a week has passed since a woman posing as a television reporter squirted water at the prime minister with a trick microphone outside the Rigoletto cinema. Fredrik Reinfeldt was attending the premiere of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie with his family at the time.

The incident led to the Strix employee being called in for questioning by the Swedish Security Service, which struggled to see the funny side.

“SVT and Strix are in agreement that we should take a break from recording. Every joke, however innocuous, is considered provocative right now,” SVT spokeswoman Helga Baagöe told Aftonbladet.

A number of further sketches have also been criticized in recent days.

A fake theft at Kista Galleria in Stockholm is a case in point. As the ‘Balls of Steel’ cameras rolled, the thief made off with a some items of clothing and was chased around the busy shopping center by security guards. A number of elderly people were almost knocked over before the thief was finally caught by a civic-minded shopper.

“We haven’t been able to record during the last few days as a result of the moral panic that has emerged. People have become terrified of the program,” Robert Aschberg, head of Strix, told Aftonbladet.

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