Beloved children’s TV figure takes break following vicious social media barage
Anyone raising kids in Denmark will likely be familiar with Onkel Reje, the bearded, heavy rock-loving pirate who dazzles children and adults alike.
But, barring reruns, the cheeky red-cheeked favourite won’t feature on the national broadcaster’s kids channel DR Ramasjang anytime in the near future.
The actor behind the character, Mads Geertsen, has gone on sick leave after enduring a spate of venomous abuse and threats on social media.
“At DR, we are used to being criticised for our programs. We also get complaints that we consider. But what has happened is completely different as it relates to harassment and threats of such an aggressive nature, that it dominates all our social media platforms – and therefore appears co-ordinated,” Morten Skov, the head of DR’s children production department DR B&U, told DR Nyheder.
Skov said that some of the attacks involved “serious” false accusations about Geertsen and his Onkel Reje character by conspiracy theorists and other groups.
The case has been reported to the police by the national broadcaster.
Additionally, another Facebook page, ‘Onkel Reje Støttegruppe’ (Onkel Reje’s support group) quickly emerged and had almost 400 members as of Wednesday evening.
“With Onkel Reje, Mads Geertsen has created an important figure in Danish children’s entertainment … I’m appalled by the projective and conspiratorial QAnon-style harassment that I’ve seen aimed at Mads and Reje,” wrote one commenter.
Many voicing support revealed that they were just about as big a fan of Onkel Reje as their children are.
“We LOOOOOOOVE Onkel Reje at our house – from the youngest of 4 to the oldest of 41, which is me,” wrote one commenter.
Another wrote: “Onkel Reje/Mads, you need to know that we are an army of adults and children who support you and love your crazy and quirky entertainment. Looking forward to seeing you in person again!”
Delighting … most … people since 2012
Since Onkel Reje first appeared on screens back in 2012, he has entertained with a slew of memorable tunes relating to such things as farting, smelly socks, itchy bums, nisser and not wanting to take a bath.
He’s not averse to using mild swear words at times. “For satan!” is among his favourites.
He often appears with sidekick Brille in his ‘Sørøvershow’ pirate show along with his heavy rock band, ’Onkel Rejes Heavyband’, which was accused of spreading satanism by certain ‘critics’ back in 2019.
He also performs at popular live shows for children across the country, often accompanied by other Ramasjang characters.
Sadly, Geertsen and Onkel Reje will not be participating in these shows for the foreseeable future.
Onkel Reje isn’t the only Ramasjang show to attract criticism in recent years.
Animation series ‘John Dillermand’ – which follows a man and his long and magical penis that seems to get him into and bail him out of trouble – certainly made a splash when it made its debut in early 2021.