Romanian TV channel fined for anti-Hungarian content

The Realitatea Plus TV channel was fined for RON 20,000 (EUR 4,100) by the National Audiovisual Council of Romania, based on a complaint from – among others – the Mikó Imre Association for the Protection of Minority Rights. The fine was imposed for creating an anti-Hungarian atmosphere on two episodes of Game of Power, which aired on May 18 and 25, the association informed.

According to the Mikó Imre Association, six guests created an anti-Hungarian atmosphere and gave false information on the show hosted by Oreste Teodorescu, although those primarily responsible were Marius Pașcan, representative of the Popular Movement Party, and Teodorescu himself.

The topic of the broadcasts was the draft law on the autonomy of Szeklerland, and the host compared the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ) to the coronavirus. Teodorescu said that RMDSZ is as destructive as the virus and aims to weaken the Romanian nation. Marius Pașcan said that in counties inhabited mainly by Hungarians, the main goal is to expel Romanians and to undermine the Romanian state.

The Minority Rights Association points out that the show presented the situation of national minorities living in Hungary incorrectly, so they created a false image when they compared it to the situation of minorities living in Romania. In the show, the events in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș in Romanian) in 1990 were also presented incorrectly: They stated that 10,000 Hungarians came to Marosvásárhely, and the whole city was covered in Hungarian flags, and that is why events took place the way they did.

The association stressed that the show rarely provides an opportunity for the other party to speak, so they violated the Audiovisual Law several times for unbalanced public information.

“Recently, we have witnessed attempts to rewrite historical facts by extreme populist Romanian politicians, whose statements are presented on the largest national news channels. That is why we are constantly monitoring these programs, and we work with every possible means to reduce hate speech in Romania,” Erika Benkő, president of the Mikó Imre Association for the Protection of Minority Rights told székelyhon.ro.

Photo: The National Audiovisual Council of Romania has fined the channel for discriminatory content. Photo: Liviu Florin Albei/Flikr.

Author: Orsi Sarány