The chief of taxpayer-funded public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Georgine Kellermann, has angered Poland after claiming the country “brings shame on all Europeans” while discussing potential European sanctions.
The comment actually followed his views on the new Giorgia Meloni government in Italy, with the 65-year-old trans commentator noting that Ursula von der Leyen gave her congratulations to Meloni after she was sworn in as prime minister,
Someone from Poland posted in response, “Just wait for your first sanctions. We know her (von der Leyen) only too well.” Kellerman replied: “It’s because Poland brings shame on all Europeans.”
Because Poland is a shame to all Europeans.
— Georgine Kellermann (@GeorgineKellerm) October 22, 2022
The Kellermann post sparked a storm on social media, with Polish users criticizing his comment. Kellermann then apologized, and defended himself by saying that he only wanted to criticize the Polish government and not all Polish people.
“I apologize. I did not want to offend Poles. My tweet was directed at the Polish government and its anti-queer policies,“ the journalist posted later.
Kellermann added that he has visited Poland and felt secure in it. “I have been to Wrocław, Zgorzelec, and many small towns and villages and never felt insecure. But I know that people like me are not welcome by the current PiS government.”
The German trans journalist finished his comments by repeating his apology. “Please accept my apology. I was referring to politics, not the people.”