Sinterklaas TV presenter may resign over blackface issue

Doloris Leeuwin visiting a classroom (Photo: @ayundo8/Twitter). (Doloris Leeuwin visiting a classroom (Photo: @ayundo8/Twitter))

Dolores Leeuwin, a presenter on the Sinterklaasjournaal since 2012, may not be returning to the show next year because she can no longer justify the current appearance of Zwarte Piet to herself, she said in an interview with the Volkskrant on Thursday.

According to Leeuwin, Sinterklaasjournaal producer NTR does not want to take a leading role in the Zwarte Piet debate, despite the fact that many schools and other institutions use the show as a guideline in their own dealings with the character. "My position now is: change is happening too slow. NTR knows what I think about it. Soon we will have an evaluation. That will show which way the program goes."

Leeuwin thinks that the Zwarte Piet's appearance needs to change, because it hurts people. But she tries to stay out of the discussion, because the debate is turning so ugly. "From both sides. I don't understand why my opinion - I think Sinterklaas is a fun party, but Zwarte Piet is a bit outdated - evokes so much resistance", she said to the newspaper. "If it's a children party and children see no color, what is the problem then?"