Utrecht school drops blackface Zwarte Piet for Minions
One primary school in Utrecht will have Minions helping Sinterklaas this year, instead of Zwarte Piet. After SPO Utrecht, an organization that governs 33 public elementary schools in the city, banned Zwarte Piet due to racism, the schools had to come up with different ways to handle the Sinterklaas celebration this year, NRC reports.
One school turned to the Minions, from animated movie Despicable Me. In the movie, the fumbling yellow creatures are supposed to serve their evil genius master, and they do. But mostly not in a way that is very helpful to his evil plans.
Another school came up with a few "big tough guys" who just happens to be named Piet. A third school invented a comedy duo called Jip and Jenny, who is Sinterklaas' "management".
"Equality" is what SPO Utrecht is aiming for. "Everyone is equal. And we do not want students feeling hurt and walking around unhappy for a month. Or hear silly jokes.", Thea Meijer, chairman of SPO, said to NRC. "An alternative Piet would not have worked. Piet is still a stereotype, whatever color he may be. And we don't want that."