Steady decline in support for blackface Zwarte Piet

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No image availableNL Times

Support for blackface makeup on Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet is steadily declining, though the vast majority is still in favor of it. In Maurice d e Hond's latest political poll 21 percent of Dutch indicated that it is time for Zwarte Piet to change, compared to less than 10 percent three years ago.

De Hond asked respondents how they feel about Zwarte Piet in response to a report published by the Children's Ombudsman last week. In the report the Ombudsman states that Zwarte Piet is in violation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is because he contributes to bullying, exclusion or discrimination.

While an increasing number of people believe it is time for Piet to get a different color, 70 percent of Dutch are still in favor of keeping Zwarte Piet as he is. Most PVV voters - 97 percent - are in the pro-blackface camp. The CDA and VVD come in second place with 79 percent of each party's voters being pro-blackface.

The anti-blackface Zwarte Piet camp gets most support from GroenLinks voters (59 percent) and PvdA voters (51 percent).

The D66 voters are most divided on the issue - 39 percent are pro-blackface, 38 percent are anti-blackface and 23 percent don't know what to think.