“Tatort”: Are entrepreneurs always the murderers in Sunday crime films?

Dispute over Sunday crime stories
Are entrepreneurs always the murderers in the “crime scene”? This is how ARD reacts to the allegations

In the last “crime scene” from Dortmund, a betting shop operator was the murderer.

A dispute has broken out over the “crime scene”: employer president Rainer Dulger accuses the crime series of always portraying entrepreneurs as criminals. ARD defends itself against the accusation.

It was a tough reckoning with Germany’s most popular Sunday crime thriller. At a business congress on Tuesday in Berlin, employers’ president Rainer Dulger made the “Tatort” is partly responsible for the bad image of entrepreneurs. “In Sunday evening crime shows, the murderers are most often entrepreneurs or managers,” said Dulger: “I can assure you that it’s not like that in the real world.”

Shortly afterwards, Dulger received support from the star guest of the event, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “I don’t know whether the Chancellor should complain to the Television Council,” said Scholz with a slightly ironic undertone. But something must be done about the false image.

“Tatort”: ARD defends itself against the accusation

ARD rejects the allegations. “The crime stories of ‘Tatort’ are set in a wide variety of milieus and living environments. The fictional cases are not directed against individual professional or population groups, and there is no intention to cement a particular image of them in the public eye or even “To make a blanket judgment about a profession,” said Lars Jacob, a spokesman for the ARD program directorate star: “The aim of Sunday thrillers is to address socially relevant topics with their dramaturgically prepared material; however, the murder cases are not disproportionately at the expense of entrepreneurs.”

Dulger’s accusation apparently refers to an evaluation of the online portal “Netzsieger.de” published in 2017. According to her, the professional group of entrepreneurs led the ranking of murderers. An entrepreneur murdered 109 times on Sunday evening, followed by professional criminals (around 100 times), school students (54) and police officers (49).

But the study leaves many questions unanswered. More than 1,000 “crime scene” episodes were evaluated; in many cases it is apparently impossible to define exactly which social or professional group the perpetrator belongs to. In addition, the term entrepreneur in the evaluation also includes “self-employed people”. There is no distinction between a large manufacturer, the operator of a chip shop, a hairdresser or the operator of a betting shop.

It is true, however, that entrepreneurs are rarely portrayed sympathetically in “Tatort”.

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