“I have felt like the most hated person in Catalonia. It has been beautiful. Now what do I do without being insulted? From screenwriter to genocide in one day ”. Dani Amor, creator and screenwriter of Drama, has written these words on Twitter after seeing the avalanche of bitter tweets that have hung TV viewers because the station has programmed this series of six episodes where dialogues in Catalan and Spanish alternate.
Telenotícies host Toni Cruanyes has also been beaten for publishing a tweet in Catalan saying that they kept laughing at home watching the first episode and “regardless of language, we were not shocked to see what we are going to look for on Netflix”. This « outside the language » has caused aftershocks where he was asked to leave TV3 or they treated him as a Spaniard and other irreproducible things. Certain tweets could be classified, without the need for legal pirouettes, as a hate crime.
The Minister of Culture, Mariàngela Villalonga, was added to the debate, not to mention Drama, on Tuesday morning, also from Twitter, noting that « the social use of the language has to start on public television in Catalonia. » In statements to SER Cataluña, he added: « Sometimes I see too much Castilian on TV3 ». An exit to the fore that one does not know very well what it means – militant monolingualism? -, but that has seemed as « cuqui » as insufficient to the most heated polemicists. TV3 itself, in the Telenotícies migdia on Monday, presented the series alluding to the existence of bilingualism in the dialogues. Dani Amor explained it plainly: “It is the reality that I know. I speak Spanish with my father and Catalan with my brother ”.
A few hours later, in an interview in Ser Catalunya, the counselor cleared up any possible unknowns about her tweet. He regretted that, at times, too much Castilian was heard on TV3 and assured that he had given a « wake-up call » to the channel’s director, Vicent Sanchis, and to the acting president of the Catalan audiovisual corporation, Núria Llorach, due to the content of these last days on TV3. Vilallonga recalled that the Generalitat « has given » six million euros to the corporation to invest in projects in Catalan. His “wake-up call” was interpreted as an acknowledgment of political interference on TV3 by, in addition, a department that does not have jurisdiction over the Catalan public media. A few hours later, the Minister of the Presidency, the department responsible for the matter, and spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Meritxell Budó, avoided ruling on the series, but corrected her colleague. « The government is not there to control television content, » he said. « We have always said that TV3 is a public and free television and the Government does not control or decide its content. » Budó recalled that TV3 is the leading television in Catalonia, « which means that it is well received by the population » and admitted that the Generalitat’s obligation is to provide it with sufficient resources so that « it can go well ».
Reactions to Vilallonga’s statements continued. Susana Segovia, spokesperson for the Catalunya en Comú Podem group in the Parliament, demanded that she work for the reconstruction of her sector and reminded her that TV3 « should be everyone’s public television », a television that « reflects the diversity of the Catalan population ”. The president of Ciudadanos en el Parlament, Carlos Carrizosa, described Vilallonga as « extremist, supremacist and Taliban. » For Carrizosa, it is « painful » that the counselor rejects that in a series broadcast by TV3, Catalan and Spanish are spoken as they are in Catalan society. Carrizosa will request information to find out if there has been any type of pressure on TV3 from the counselor. « We are not going to allow extremist nationalists who want to expel Catalans from everyday life to appropriate the Catalan language. »
To the controversy it is added that the cast episodically includes the Canary humorist Ignatius Farray who on more than one occasion has treated the nationalists as « fachas ». He has also had his own repertoire of tweets against him.
The same TV3, in the Telenotícies migdia on Monday, presented the series alluding to the existence of bilingualism in the dialogues. Dani Amor explained it plainly: “It is the reality that I know. I speak Spanish with my father and Catalan with my brother ”.
The temperature of this controversy surprises. A fortnight ago, TV3, which broadcasts in Catalan, offered a report by ETB, the Basque public television, entitled The Crown Virus. A program of about an hour broadcast entirely in the original Castilian without any noticeable fuss on social networks. Why? Perhaps because the issue was liked by the now-mobilized clientele (Juan Carlos I’s business) and the language of issue was not questioned.
Drama is a production by RTVE, commissioned by El Terrat, which the station programmed on its Internet channel Playz aimed at youth audiences. TVE hung it for all its Spanish digital market subtitling the dialogues that were in Catalan. This initiative, which unfortunately is scarce, could then be seen as a media normalization of the linguistic reality in Catalonia, where not everyone speaks Spanish. Then there were no complaints. Complaints appear when this series is broadcast on TV3 and shows a bilingual and, at times, foul-mouthed Catalonia.
According to TV3, the controversial Drama broadcast on TV3 was the audience leader in its time slot in Catalonia. The first episode reached 13.2% of audience, becoming the third most watched broadcast of the day on TV3, and the second, 10.5%.