Norwegian reality show introduces sexual consent rule for contestants

The latest series of Paradise Hotel in Norway has introduced an on-screen consent requirement for contestants planning on having sexual contact following allegations of abuse on the Swedish version of the show.

Norwegian reality show introduces sexual consent rule for contestants
The show has introduced on-screen consent requirements. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Contestants in the latest series of Paradise Hotel, which aired on Monday night, will require contestants to demonstrate on-screen with a thumbs up to the camera that they consent to any sexual activity.

“We were told from day one that if we were to have sex, we had to consent with a thumbs up to the camera from both parties,” Stian Trulsen, a contestant on the hit reality series, told newspaper VG

Earlier this year, it was alleged that a male contestant abused two female participants on the Swedish edition of the show. Swedish prosecuting authorities are investigating the alleged abuse. 

Christian Meinseth, program manager for production company Nent which makes the show, said the new rules weren’t directly introduced because of what happened on the Swedish programme. 

“No, but we have, of course, worked with the series and looked at our practices around the format, so we ensure that Paradise Hotel is both a good watch and fun to be a participant in,” Meinseth told VG. 

“We are very concerned about the participants’ safety, and we have not had any challenges around the new rules,” Meinseth added. 

The program manager added that the production company wanted the show to reflect a more modern approach to sex. 

“At the same time, we are also careful to monitor language use and how the participants describe each other. Everyone should show respect for each other, and there will be more focus on the game itself. Viewers can look forward to an exciting and entertaining season,” he said. 

The 15th season of the show, which has been on Norwegian tv screens since 2009, will also include a “paradise talents” week where there is a focus on inner values as part of several on-screen and off-screen measures to try and promote more healthy sexual relationships.

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Norwegian series ‘better than Game of Thrones’: BBC list

Norwegian series Valkyrien has made its mark on the BBC’s list of top ten television series in 2017.

Norwegian series 'better than Game of Thrones': BBC list
Valkyrien wins best drama at Norway's 2017 Gullruten awards. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

The series, which centres on an illegal medical clinic in a disused bomb shelter, took ninth place on the British broadcaster’s list of the year’s best series, one place above monster HBO hit Game of Thrones’ penultimate season.

“In an age of political uncertainty and social unrest, this gripping Norwegian thriller’s arrival was pretty timely,” writes the BBC in its roundup.

The series, set in Oslo, is praised for going “well beyond the usual tropes of Nordic noir”.

“It is very nice to be remembered, a lot of very good stuff is being made at the moment,” Valkyrien series producer Eric Vogel told newspaper VG.

“There is something about the United Kingdom and Valkyrien, it has been a real hit there. It received good reviews and was written about in newspapers like The Guardian and The Times. The series discusses how we react in complex times, and the British have experienced that themselves with Brexit,” Vogel said.

The producer added that he hoped the programme could serve to open doors for those who have worked on it, both in front of and behind the camera.

No follow-up to the series is currently planned.

“There is no new season in the works, but you should never say never. I’m not ruling anything out,” he said.

An English-language remake is in the works, with the action moving from Oslo to London, the BBC adds.

The full list of the BBC’s top ten television series in 2017:

10. Game of Thrones
9. Valkyrien
8. The Deuce
7. Glow
6. The Good Place
5. Mindhunter
4. Big Little Lies
3. Blue Planet II
2. The Handmaid’s Tale
1. Twin Peaks: The Return 

READ ALSO: American remake of Norway's 'Skam' to be streamed by Facebook