NL Times

Netherlands

Gordon: don’t mess with Dutch tradition

‘The Netherlands are being run over by everybody and their kid brother’ and ‘ethnic minorities should not criticize my jokes’ are some of the statements Gordon made in an interview with VARA-dj, Giel Beelen.The singer admits the issue is sensitive. Everybody is welcome in the Netherlands, and everybody enjoys freedom of speech. With that being said, Gordon will not accept minorities messing with Dutch traditions, and trying to dictate what Dutch can and can not say, just because he made a joke about a Chinese person.

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Singer Gordon embroiled in controversy for his comments seen in this still image from “Holland’s Got Talent”

RTL issued an official statement. A week after the broadcast the station reports to regret people have been hurt by Gordon’s remarks. Although the station takes full responsibility for the broadcast, it does not comment on the remarks themselves.

The station stresses the intent was never to cause grief. Gordon is known for his indiscriminate jokes, even at his own expense, but also for his emphatic personality. The contestant, Xiao Wang, was in the end judged on his beautiful voice and that’s what counts.

Representatives from Asian groups, Irene Xu and Bianca Kuijper, guests in Pauw en Witteman Thursday evening, also responded to Gordon’s remarks.

Xu pointed out her attention was drawn to the incident by commotion in media from abroad. The guests recognize the remarks from what they had to go through, growing up, but to hear it on national TV like it’s perfectly normal, is shocking and they feel something needs to be said, according to Kuijper. Janet Lie, also a guest at Pauw en Witteman, set up a Facebook page, to gage the responses.

Gordon insists he never meant to hurt anybody and that his remarks are innocent, when asked where he draws the line for a joke.

So far, 25 formal complaints against Gordon’s remarks were filed with the discrimination hotline, which will be presented to RTL.