Right-wing broadcaster responds to NPO criticism of racism

Broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland responded to criticism of its broadcast on Thursday saying it had “nothing to do with racism, discrimination or incitement to violence”. The Netherlands Foundation for Public Broadcasting (NPO) believes ON crossed a line with the article, which depicted people of color beating white people accompanied by a controversial voiceover.

“According to the NPO, ‘the limits of racist or discriminatory remarks’ have been reached,” ON said. “According to the ON! Board of Directors, this is not the case and it is never the intention.”

The broadcaster said it didn’t mean to offend anyone with the article, which shows a compilation of footage of black strangers beating up white people in unfamiliar locations. “We have nothing to do with racism, discrimination or incitement to violence and as a broadcaster we distance ourselves from that.”

According to presenter Raïsa Blommestijn, the show wanted to show “a less exposed aspect of racism on social networks”. She says that she has since received “many [death] threats and fantasies of violence”.

On the show, Blommestijn used language often seen as racist, describing “blanken die door negers in elkaar worden geslagen”, which loosely translates to “white people who have been beaten by black people”. The obsolete term “blanken” refers to people without color, while “neger” can be equated with the English word “Negro”.

Rabin Baldewsingh, the national coordinator against discrimination and racism, said the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science had failed in its oversight of the ON. “The agreement was that the ministry would monitor the state of affairs regarding Ongehoord Nederland. not produced. There were already all kinds of reports that Ongehoord Netherlands did not play by the rules of the game.”

The NPO wants the Media Authority to judge whether the media law has been violated. The ministry has repeatedly announced in recent months that it will not oversee ON programs. The ombudsman opened an investigation into the broadcaster after complaints from viewers.

The nonprofit received “numerous” complaints about the article on Friday. The president of the board of directors, Frederieke Leeflang, asked the mediator of the NPO to treat these complaints “as a priority”.

Broadcasters who are part of the NPO collectively condemned the article. They believe that the video “proclaims a false racist message through language and imagery that we collectively characterize as unethical, unethical and contrary to the core values ​​of the NPO. It is unbecoming of the broadcaster’s platform. public,” they said. in a joint statement. They are of the opinion that “when racist ideas are propagated under the cover of journalism”, freedom of expression reaches a limit.

The statement is signed by NTR, VPRO, ZWART, AVROTROS, PowNed, KRO-NCRV, HUMAN, MAX, EO, WNL and BNNVARA. The broadcasters say they speak on behalf of “all manufacturers” in Hilversum.

About Selena J. Killeen

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