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‘A very dangerous message to young people’: VRT takes controversial documentary series ‘FIRE’ offline

  • Post category:Entertainment
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Financial independence, early retirement! This catchy slogan is that of the FIRE movement. A movement created not long ago but which very quickly became known throughout Flanders thanks to the documentary series which bears the same name.

The acronym FIRE stands for “financial independence, retire early”: the series deals with the subject of financial independence which would allow you to retire as soon as possible.

The series, from its launch, was strongly criticized by the general public. It highlighted exceptional successes thanks to investments made in the field of cryptocurrency. Few thoughtful decisions about certain investments are shown on screen.

Never, for example, are the dangers associated with cryptocurrency investments discussed. We only see great successes. This earned condemnation from the financial watchdog FSMA: “The VRT FIRE series sends a dangerous and unrealistic message to young people. Financial education must teach them the right reflexes when it comes to money,” said the organization in a tweet.

In recent days, the controversy on the subject has increased further and the VRT has decided to take the series offline. The reason ? One of the faces of the show is said to be involved in a Russian pyramid scheme.

Wout Schrijvers is 28 years old and comes from Diepenbeek in Limburg. The latter, who shows himself in videos in Dubai, claims to be a multimillionaire and retired for two years. He says he earns thousands of euros every day thanks to traders who invest funds for him and he would then pocket 1.4% of the profits.

A fortune that rises thanks to a certain platform called “The Future Trade”… and which is in fact an illegal pyramid scheme run by Russian crooks. The system promises high profits, far beyond what is realistic. Except that, the profits are paid with the investments of new customers, which is illegal, the FSMA told VRT NWS. “If an investor in a pyramid scheme receives compensation for bringing new investors into the pyramid rather than for selling or consuming products, this constitutes an unfair business practice.”

The VRT then decided to take the document offline. “With “FIRE” we tried to portray a topical, albeit controversial, phenomenon with real stories and people. Every attentive viewer understood that not every story in the series could serve as an example to follow. .FIRE was never intended as an educational program.”