Many calling for Gordon's apology
The derogatory remarks Holland's Got Talent host Gordon made to a Chinese contender of the popular TV show have led anti-discrimination group MDRA to call on television station RTL to apologize. Meldpunt definitively told RTL that Gordon insulted people of Chinese descent.
He has since stressed that he is not a racist, happy to be living in the Netherlands where he thinks jokes like that are acceptable and innocent, and does not feel the need to apologize.
Gordon, a singer who moonlights as TV presenter, has been criticized for addressing Xiao Wang, a contender in the show who is of Chinese origin, with racial slurs. He made fun of the man’s origin, of the stereotypical Chinese inability to pronounce the letter “L”, and acted surprised that Wang actually sang Verdi’s “La donna è mobile” beautifully.
“I tell you honestly, this is the best Chinese I had in weeks," he said, bursting out in a laugh, along with several in the audience. After voting the amateur singer into the next round, American choreographer Dan Karaty criticized his fellow panelist, but Gordon seemed not at all aware that he was being racially insensitive.
Many people seemed to disagree. Meldpunt received 13 complaints about Gordon's remarks, considered remarkable by MDRA spokeswoman Jessica Silversmith.
"Usually, they are very reticent. [The Chinese community] is a relatively closed population, but I have the feeling that they really have had enough of the negative stereotypes that are aimed at them," Silversmith said.
"This is really new, and I'm happy with that. I hope there will be an apology.
The hotline is of the opinion that being a popular Dutchman, the singer may unwittingly influence large groups of people in the country. It said that the remark that was based on outer characteristics and meant as humorous, was stigmatizing and therefore insulting to people of Chinese origin living in the Netherlands.
The TV station has not yet responded to the letter from the MDRA sent earlier in the week.