“My grandma is an old environmental pig.”: German state television broadcaster insults older people

A German public broadcaster has been criticised for a satirical adaptation to one of the country’s best-known children’s songs about a grandmother’s environmentally questionable habits and apologised after the song drew a wave of criticism. A video featuring broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)’s children’s choir singing an altered version of “My grandma rides a motorbike in the chicken coop” – a German children’s classic – was pulled from the WDR channel’s Facebook page on Friday evening. On Saturday, WDR boss Tom Buhrow apologised personally “with no ifs and buts”. Critics, many of them online, took offence at a section in the altered song that had the grandmother driving to the doctor in an SUV, with the singers declaring: “My grandma is an old environmental pig.” The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state, where WDR is based, was among those who were not amused. Armin Laschet wrote on Twitter: “The debate about the best climate protection is increasingly being escalated by some into a generational conflict.” He added that WDR’s song “crossed the limits of style and respect for older people. Instrumentalising the young against the old is not acceptable”. The mass-circulation daily Bild gave the issue front-page treatment on Monday, saying in an editorial that people born in the 1950s did a lot “to hand over a better, rich, peaceful country to their children and grandchildren”.


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