Erik van Muiswinkel (Photo: Kennisland/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Erik van Muiswinkel (Photo: Kennisland/Wikimedia Commons)
Thursday, December 24, 2015 - 09:46
Blackface opponents levy racism charge against top Zwarte Piet actor
Opponents of controversial Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet pressed charges of, among other things, "statements inciting discrimination" against comedian Erik van Muiswinkel, who plays the head Piet in the Sinterklaasjournaal. Spokesperson for the opponents and activist Jerry Afriyie told BN De Stem that they pressed charges because Van Muiswinkel dresses and acts the part of Zwarte Piet while he "knows very well that the character is racist". With this he refers to Van Muiswinkel stating on television program Pauw that Zwarte Piet is a "racist icon from a time that was racist". "We are often told that people are not aware that Zwarte Piet is racist. But Erik van Muiswinkel clearly knows this and still continues to play the role. We blame him for that. Especially since the Netherlands sees him as Head Piet also as the 'captain' of the pieten." Afriyie said to the newspaper.