The fact that a trigger warning is displayed in a humor show is anything but usual on German television. Carolin Kebekus took this drastic measure on Thursday evening. Because the comedienne, known for her Rhenish cheerfulness, addressed something that is very important to her: "Our topic now is anything but funny," began the 42-year-old. "We know it's really heavy for a comedy show, but nobody else does it. And then we just have to get back to it."
The topic that was discussed in the following 15 minutes was femicide: "Every day a man in Germany tries to kill his wife, every third day he succeeds," the moderator introduced the contribution. A scandal bad enough on its own. But Kebekus is about something else: the way these crimes are talked about in the media. The incredible dimension is played down by reports that often pretend that these are isolated cases.
Carolin Kebekus advocates naming the cases for what they are: femicides. The word means "the willful killing of a woman by a man because of her sex". Kebekus believes there are "structures" behind the many homicides.
What particularly frightens the comedienne: Many of these murders only served as a template for entertainment. She refers to the boom in the "True Crime" genre. There are more than 1000 podcasts from this area on Spotify alone.
To demonstrate how tasteless she finds this trend, Kebekus stages a podcast in which she exploits a femicide: "It's going to be deep. A real drama of love and violence," she whispers into the microphone of a recording studio. As a template, she takes the real murder of the French singer Bertrand Cantat on the actress Marie Trintignant. Cantat was released after three years in prison.
Again and again, femicides are inappropriately reported. Kebekus is particularly bothered by the trivializing term "family drama". But she also sees the problem in politics: Unlike in Spain, the term femicide is not yet officially recognized in Germany, so it is not surprising that authorities often fail to commit these crimes. In this context, she mentions a case in which a man had strangled his wife and was only convicted of manslaughter - because she left him beforehand. According to the Federal Court of Justice, this could "be judged as a circumstance that speaks against the baseness of the motive".
There is still a lot to be done in Germany before these crimes are fully recognized. The problem is urgent: "Every day a man in Germany tries to kill his wife, every third day he succeeds. That's an average of 122 women a year."
You can see the complete episode of the "Carolin Kebekus Show" in the ARD media library