Blackface Zwarte Piet to remain in broadcaster RTL’s kids show

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RTL will be keeping the traditional blackface appearance of character Zwarte Piet in the broadcaster's kids show Club van Sinterklaas this year. According to the broadcaster, the Zwarte Pieten are children's heroes and are therefore keeping "their own appearance", Het Parool reports.

"We see the Sinterklaas celebration as a party for children and stand behind what we have aired over the years", according to RTL. "We are going along with the choices of the broad Dutch society, where this debate belongs in our opinion. Should the outcome of this debate eventually ask for a change in the appearance of Piet, we ill follow it."

Other broadcasters have already, or will this year, adjusted the appearance of Sinterklaas' controversial helper as a result of this debate. Nickelodeon will be introducing Pieten without makeup this year in their new show "Op weg naar pakjesavond - Sint vermist!" The Sinterklaasjournaal have not made any announcement on their story line for this year, but last year a few non-black Pieten-in training.

A number of stores and schools have also adjusted Zwarte Piet's appearance. The whole debate can be seen .