The streaming platform Joyn removed the current season of the popular Mr. Gay Germany following allegations of cheating in the election of the show’s most recent winner.
The German language Bild contacted Joyn regarding the legitimacy of the election of Lukas, the 2023 Mr. Gay Germany winner. Questions had emerged about the 22-year-old entrepreneur's previous contacts and relationships with the judges after it was revealed that a picture showing Lukas and Mr. Gay Germany CEO Patrick Dähmlow together was posted by both men to social media in 2018 with the hashtag ‘friends.’
When Bild confronted Joyn with the allegations, the streamer responded by pulling the entire 2023 season from its media library and revealing it was aware of the accusations and that an investigation had been underway since February.
“Unfortunately, there are now doubts about the fair course of the selection process, which we cannot fully clarify after an internal examination,” Joyn said in a statement.
Mr. Gay Germany candidates and production staff reportedly received a list of questions regarding their relationships and contacts prior to the season.
Dähmlow told Bild the allegations were “baseless” and said it was not extraordinary that gay men in Germany might have known or met each other in the past. He also expressed concern about Joyn’s decision to remove the first season from its media library.
“For us, the decision to take the show down for the time being is incomprehensible and we assure you that the election was carried out fairly, as every year, within the framework of the rules and in consultation with the 11 jurors,” Dähmlow told Bild.
Lukas, who hails from Alsdorf, described the allegations as “a great pity” and is not worried as he says the accusations are untrue.
He was interviewed by Bild not long after his victory. At the time, he thanked his family and friends for the support they provided in his quest to be the best gay in Germany.
“I am grateful for the support of my friends, followers, and supporters who are willing to work creatively and plan projects with me,” Lukas said last month. “I know that I can count on them and rely on them when it comes to realizing my goals and I am full of energy and ready to tackle many projects!”
It is unclear how the allegations and investigation will impact Lukas’s plans for Mr. Gay Europe and other gay competitions. Also unclear if Lukas will retain the 2023 Mr. Gay Germany title and the totally fabulous winner’s sash.