RTL says "no" to blackface for 2016 Zwarte Piet costume
Broadcaster RTL will not be using blacface makeup on Zwarte Piet this year. The media company decided to from now on only use Pieten with soot marks on their face, RTL said in a statement.
"For one part the image of Zwarte Piet is discriminatory, while others find that Zwarte Piet is an integral part of the tradition", the broadcaster said in a statemetn. "RTL understands both points of view, but also believes that this discussion should not be about what's right, but understanding for each other."
Chimney Piet, sometimes also called Sooty Piet, will replace Zwarte Piet at RTL from now on. He will also drop the first part of his name and only be known as Piet. This Piet has black soot marks on his face from going up and down chimneys. This version of Sinterklaas' helper was first introduced in 2014.
Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs is pleased with RTL's decision. "Compliments for RTL. Time for change", the Deputy Prime Minister said according to the Telegraaf.