Wilders hits at broadcaster, cartoonist

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No image availableNL Times

A cartoon on Joop.nl, a VARA affiliate, has angered Geert Wilders. The cartoon shows the PVV-leader lying on the ground with scissors stuck in his chest, and Queen Beatrix walking away in the background holding a pair of scissors. VARA defends the cartoon, and cartoonist Adriaan Soeterbeek, Het Parool reports. 

This is not the first time that Soeterbeek has made a controversial cartoon about PVV-leader Wilders. This cartoon is a satirical reaction to Wilders' plan to strip the Queen of some of her political power.

Wilders places his reaction on Twitter. "What Dutch people have to pay for: subsidized calls for violence. The VARA. How long still?" He is supported by VARA host Claudia de Breij, who also thinks the cartoon was in bad taste. "I agree with Geert Wilders about tastelessness of the cartoon on Joop.nl. As generally proud VARA co-worker I now have to say: very regrettable."

Senior Joop.nl editor Francisco van Jole emphasizes the satirical aspect of the cartoon on the website, and that Soeterbeek is not a political activist. "Adriaan is not Mohmmed B. and also not Volkert van der G. The accusation from Wilders that the cartoon stirs up violence is absurd. If Wilders really believes that, then he should file a complaint. I will meet that with full trust. The drawing does not in any way contain a call to violence."

In a reaction to Shownieuws, VARA says that it fully supports freedom of expression. "Joop.nl daily asks diverse opinion makers, cartoonists, columnists and others to supply an opinion, standpoint or argument, which can then be reacted to online."

VARA also wishes to emphasize that opinions expressed on Joop.nl are not necessarily those of VARA. It is simply a "platform" where people can give reactions and debate.