Xiao Wang Responds to Gordon
Holland's Got Talent contestant Xiao Wang is reportedly incensed by racially charged comments made by one of the show's judges. The PhD candidate at the University of Groningen has not made a statement since the show featuring him as a singer aired November 16.
"On stage, at first I did not pay attention to the jury's exact words, but I felt somewhat slighted," Wang said in a statement to AD.nl "After watching the show, I have to say that I dislike the 'jokes.'"
Gordon derided Wang before, during and after the performance. Once the Chinese contestant introduced himself on stage, Gordon asked, "What number are you singing, number 39 with rice?" Following a performance rewarded by a standing ovation from the audience, Gordon expressed his shock at Wang's talent by saying, "Supplies!" as an intentional mispronunciation of "Surprise!"
He then said, “Honestly, this is the best Chinese I’ve had in weeks, and it’s not a takeaway.” Switching to Dutch, he also said “He looks like a waiter from a Chinese restaurant.”
"I believe that, in a multicultural society, where people are supposed to be decent and treat others with respect, people should make an effort not to insult others. People should think twice before they make jokes," Wang wrote.
An anti-discrimination hotline in Amsterdam has received 32 complaints thus far, mostly from those of Asian heritage. The spokeswoman for the hotline found this remarkable as the Asian communities in the Netherlands are often closed and do not raise these issues publicly.
The organization that runs the hotline, MDRA, sent a letter to the show's broadcaster, RTL. The station has backed Gordon thus far, saying that ultimately Wang was judged for his vocal talents and not his race.
The game show contestant advanced out of his audition round. Shortly after, another judge on the show criticized Gordon on air. American Dan Karaty said, "You're really not supposed to say things like that to people."
Wang does not think Gordon's comments are reflective of all people in the Netherlands. "My Dutch friends I have met here are warm, friendly and caring. I'm crazy about them."