“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. » 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 ”.
The temperature of this controversy surprises. A fortnight ago, TV3 itself broadcast a report by ETB, the Basque public television, entitled The Crown Virus. A program of approximately one hour broadcasted entirely in the original Spanish 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.
In the case of Drama, it should also be borne in mind that this 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 expresses itself in 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.
Do you protest because you break a monolingual imaginary? If these dialogues had been in Catalan and English, for example with Erasmus students, would there have been the same fuss? It is evident that one of the tasks of TV3 has to be the promotion of the use of Catalan, but … will it fulfill this objective by denying reality or loading ideological interventions in Spanish? Catalan has to be the vehicular language and is well managed in its plasticity of registers and dialect varieties. But does this have to exclude being able to listen to the other languages? The controversy has spread to other territories: that TV3 accepts too many barbarisms or criticizes journalists from Madrid being interviewed in Spanish. A television is requested only attentive to domestic references and not all. Those who deny a certain chimera have to censor themselves. Bad business. We ask for masks again as in the days of Hotel Fawlty, that British series by John Cleese where an ignorant and clumsy waiter who was … from Barcelona came out. On TVE they could not admit that it was Spanish and they did it Italian and on TV3 they did not like that it was from Barcelona and they did it Mexican.
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