Tuesday, 26 November 2013 - 08:30
No apologies for racist slurs
Juror Gordon refuses to apologize to Holland's Got Talent-candidate Xiao Wang, according to his statement in KRO-program Oog in Oog. Last week, when Xiao Wang, who is of Asian descent, came up on stage, Gordon made several remarks that were supposed to be funny, but instead were considered by many to be racial slurs against the contestant. When the candidate announced he was going to sing, Gordon laughed and asked what number he was going to sing, "number 39 with rice?" Singer Gordon embroiled in controversy for his comments seen in this still image from "Holland's Got Talent" A few days after the broadcast, the clip went viral on YouTube, with American and Chinese media pundits condemning Gordon for his remarks. Many in the Netherlands also reacted with consternation. Gordon was on vacation when he read the news reports. He was flabbergasted, and stated to the Oog in Oog interviewer, Sven Kockelmann, he is not a racist. Gordon went on to say the USA still accepts the Ku Klux Klan, and China has similar problems, so they are in no position to judge. The juror is happy to be living in The Netherlands, where he thinks jokes like that are acceptable and innocent. The singer does not feel the need to apologize. However, it is important to him that Wang does not feel discriminated. Several American talk shows have sent the Holland's Got Talent judge an invitation, but he does not intend to honor any. He wants the matter to go away, saying it has been blown out of proportion, partly by the media. In the meantime, while Gordon wants to move past the fact that people could not appreciate his sense of humor, the RTL-editor of Holland's Got Talent received a letter from the Amsterdam Discrimination Hotline (MDRA), asking for an explanation of the judge's behavior. The letter says that MDRA understands Gordon is trying to be funny, and that exaggeration is an acceptable style in TV-programming, but there is a line that can be crossed. As a judge on the program and Dutch celebrity, the singer has the potential of influencing a large group. The MDRA asked RTL to review the complaint and respond within fourteen days.