I reported last week that the Swedish broadcaster TV4 refused to air an election commercial for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, based on the contention that it was “racist”. To refresh your memory, here is a subtitled version of the commercial in question:
Today’s Jyllands-Posten reports that the commercial was so politically radioactive that no Swedish media company could be found to produce it. Sverigedemokraterna had to reach across the water to Denmark for a production team, but even the Danes were unhappy about collaborating so closely with “racists”.
Many thanks to Kitman for the following abridged translation:
Controversial Swedish film produced in Denmark
“We tried for six months to find a Swedish producer, but nobody wanted to participate, so we had to have it made in Denmark,” says Sverigedemokraterna’s press spokesman, Erik Almqvist.
Apparently even the Danes were afraid that if their participation was known, it could result in severe repercussions and bad publicity throughout the industry.
Sound work on the film was done by the Danish company Supersonic, which now regrets its involvement.
Mitch Fisherman, Managing Director of Supersonic, says they “regret having participated and did not know what we were getting into.”
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Another Danish producer, Strictly Production, participated along with Duckling. Duckling did post-production, but regretted their participation as soon as they discovered the political implications. When they realized what those were, they left the project unfinished and refused to receive any payments.
“It is not our job to take political positions, but if I had known what it was about initially, we would have said no thanks to the job at the beginning,” says Andrew Monk, director of Duckling.
Our Danish correspondent TB refers us to an SR article reporting that a censored version has been made of the ad refused by TV4:
Controversial Ad Gets Go-Ahead
Swedish commercial TV channel TV 4 says it will broadcast a new version of a controversial advert by the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat party.
The ad had originally featured pensioners being chased by women dressed in burkas pushing baby carriages, but TV4 feared the ads could be seen as anti-muslim, breaking discrimination legislation, and refused to carry them.
The burka-clad women will now be covered by a sign saying “censored by TV4” according to news agency TT, and as the women are no longer visible, it no longer breaks the law, says the TV station.
This is the first election campaign where political advertising has been allowed on Swedish TV.
The censored version may be seen here (Swedish only).