NL Times

Business Netherlands

Restaurants Mock “No. 39 with Rice”

Patrons of 39 Chinese restaurants across the Netherlands are poking fun at a Dutch singer by offering their menu’s number 39 for 39% off. The promotion is meant to add some levity to a highly criticized set of racially-charged jokes made by Gordon to a Chinese contestant on Holland’s Got Talent.

In an episode of the show, Gordon mocked Xiao Wang when the Groningen PhD student introduced himself on stage, as well as during and after the amateur’s performance. When Wang walked on stage, Gordon said he looked like a waiter, and asked, “Which number are you singing? Number 39 with rice?”

A flyer for the Nummer 39 met Rijst event, making fun of Holland's Got Talent judge Gordon

A flyer for the Nummer 39 met Rijst event, making fun of Holland’s Got Talent judge Gordon

The VCHO, an association of Chinese hospitality businesses joined with three Chinese youth organizations to create the the promotion. They created the promotion because they wanted to get a laugh from people frustrated that the Netherlands as a whole did not advance the debate over Gordon’s remarks, a debate which evaporated with no repercussions.

Gordon: Number 39 With Rice?

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

“We want to demonstrate that the Chinese people are not afraid of a joke, as long as both sides can laugh at it,” Yan Ting Yuen told the Volkskrant newspaper. Yuen helped organize the project.

“But it is definitely serious. We have received many positive reactions the past few weeks, but also negative ones, [like we are] just another nagging minority. I do not like being treated this way. My eight-year-old daughter also does not like it. For years, we have kept our mouths shut, but now we are saying, ‘Listen to us.'”

Holland's Got Talent judge Gordon (left) and contestant Xiao Wang (Sara Lee/Change.org/RTL)

Holland’s Got Talent judge Gordon (left) and contestant Xiao Wang (Sara Lee/Change.org/RTL)

Holland’s Got Talent airs on RTL 4 in the Netherlands. The network did not force the producers of the show to broadcast an apology, and Gordon has repeatedly defended his remarks, while Wang has told the country how the comments personally affected him.

Full details of the Nummer 39 met Rijst promotion will be released on their website today.