Felix Hutt, born in 1979, strengthens the investigative department at RTL. With his two-hour opening report “Felix Hutt Investigativ – Mallorca: Drugs, red light, rockers” (Thursday, September 1, 8:15 p.m.), the former “Stern” and “Spiegel” journalist descends into the criminal structures of Mallorca. According to this film, can he – and can “man” – still go there at all?
teleschau: “Felix Hutt Investigative” is intended to be a loose series in which you delve deeply into exciting, and always somewhat popular, topics. How long were you in Mallorca?
Hutt: About 40 days. We’ve flown to Mallorca six times in the past few months, filmed for a total of about 35 days, and I was there alone for almost a week for pre-research. The broadcaster gives me the creative freedom for the format to choose the topics myself and get right into it. I am very grateful to RTL for that. My unique selling point is that I research and tell popular topics in a way that surprises and entertains readers and viewers. While many colleagues at “Stern” and “Spiegel” were dealing with politics and business, I researched Kevin Spacey and Daniel Küblböck. I’ve always tried to transfer the investigative approach to popular topics. In this respect, it fits with RTL and me.
teleschau: What drives you?
Hutt: I find it fascinating when people think they know everything about a person or a subject. Because then I think: “Maybe it’s a bit different, maybe there’s more to it.” A year ago, our initial question in relation to Mallorca was whether Mallorca, as we knew it, would survive Corona. At that time, the situation on the island was catastrophic after a long lockdown. Bookings were miserable, party facilities like the Megapark were closed and deserted. It could also have been a farewell film. But then, during my research, I came across crime and corruption everywhere. At the same time, the tourism industry has got off to a strong start again. All of this resulted in a very interesting mix of topics.
teleschau: You deal with drug trafficking, gang wars, prostitution and corruption on the island. Under the blanket of tourism magnets, is Mallorca primarily a place of crime?
Hutt: It’s definitely a special place. I’ll give you an example. In 2006 I read an article in SZ-Magazine about a settlement near the airport of Palma de Mallorca. You could read about a bus line that goes there from Palma and you can buy almost any drug there that is available. When I was in Mallorca for the first time, I naively thought that this drug bus has definitely not been running for a long time. But what has happened since then: nothing! It’s all the same. The drug trade and the village flourish.
teleschau: Because little is being done there against drug trafficking?
Hutt: Let’s put it this way – the pull effect of Mallorca for drug deals is very large. Many yachts from South America arrive there before heading to Barcelona or further to Europe. Mallorca is a geostrategically important place for drug deals. There’s a lot of audiences from all over the world. There is a great desire to celebrate, and what’s more: when the import of drugs from Morocco was very slow during the pandemic, people started cultivating on the island itself. These fruits are now also harvested.
teleschau: You also examined the structures on Ballermann. What did you find out?
Hutt: We were interested in how the evening or night continues after the beer on the beach and the evening party temples. There is, for example, the option of a strip bar and table dance. I wanted to know how the women who are supposed to ensnare these tourists after their long days at Ballermann are doing. It turned out that many of these bars are classic brothels in which forced prostitutes also work. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s holiday, but I think you should know that before you do what you do there as a tourist.
teleschau: You also spoke to the mayor of Palma. What did the man say about the many Germans who come to his city?
Hutt: He said that all Germans are very welcome, but with the request that one should behave the way one would behave at home. I think that’s what bothers me a bit about our Mallorca picture. Recently I was often on the plane from Germany to Mallorca, and it was almost always the case that about half of the Germans on board were civilized people who were quiet and studied hiking maps, while the other half were already drunk people in football shirts, who behaved very strangely.
teleschau: Can you no longer travel to Mallorca after the show because you have made too many enemies there?
Hutt: I can’t go into detail about that, but there are definitely a few people out there who don’t like me anymore. I shouldn’t necessarily run into a certain group of rockers now. I’m not afraid, but it’s also clear: Whenever you do investigative research, you uncover things that the makers shouldn’t have brought to light. Nightlife is often not really clearly organized or regulated. There are quarrels and fights there – you know that from the Hamburg neighborhood of St. Pauli. It is a parallel world in which its own laws apply and there is a lot of secrecy. Stepping on the wrong people’s toes is not without its problems.
Teleschau: Your broadcaster RTL also made the series “Der König von Palma” with Henning Baum about the history of Ballermann. Were you involved with the fiction project – directly or indirectly?
Hutt: No, nothing at all. It’s pure coincidence. We neither agreed nor worked together. As far as I know, the series is based on historical stories – while our documentary is fully anchored in the present. We’ll start in the foothills of the pandemic and see what’s happening in Mallorca right now.
teleschau: How will “Felix Hutt Investigative” continue?
Hutt: The broadcaster doesn’t specify how many films are to be shot per year or in a certain period of time. Parallel to the Mallorca production, I’ve already been working on a second exciting piece of research, which will probably be shown in autumn. But: The film comes when the subject has been researched and shot. We want to know what you can find out if you really take your time and dig deep.
The original of this article “RTL reporter Felix Hutt “exposed” Ballermann scene” comes from Teleschau.