Pro-pedophilia activist interview sparks controversy at Dutch broadcaster

Child with teddy bear

Broadcaster NTR sparked massive controversy with the latest episode of NPO program Danny op Straat. In the episode, program maker Danny Ghosen spoke to a pro-pedophilia activist only identified as Nelson. He wants to set up a political party to make sex with children legal, AD reports.

Nelson said on the program that he is attracted to boys from 4 to 14 years old. He said that toddlers are able to decide whether they want sex or not. "A child of 2 or 3 years old is developed enough to decide whether he wants an ice cream or wants to go to the playground," he said. "I think those things are very easy to compare." 

The man seemed unable to understand why pedophiles are considered to be dangerous, even when Ghosen pointed out the trauma caused to children. "In the case of abuse I get it," Nelson said. "But that has nothing to do with me." 

The episode, which was broadcast on NPO2 on Thursday evening, and the fragments shared beforehand triggered a storm of angry and disbelieving reactions o social media. The hashtag #dannyopstraat was trending in the Netherlands.

"How can anyone think like this?" one person wrote. Another pointed out that their 6-year-old thought they could jump from the roof with an umbrella like they saw on TV. "But according to Nelson a 4 year old can have well-considered sex. Amoebae!!!" they wrote on Twitter. Another: "What the hell did I just see? Giving such people a podium... lock them up, ban in advance... and as a father of 3, I am furious." 

NTR stands by its decision to broadcast the episode, the broadcaster said in a response, according to AD. "In his program, Danny goes in search of subcultures that hardly come to light. With the program he shows that they exist and delves into subjects that play a role in our country. Danny is also very critical, as you can see in the episode." 

The University of Amsterdam, which invited Nelson to give a lecture at the university about pedo-sexuality, also quickly responded to the episode. "Nelson was invited to talk about his feelings as a pedophile, about what it means to live with it but not to act on it. That was in the context of a lecture on the development of sexual norms in society," Richard van der Wurff, director of Social Sciences at the university, said in a response. "We were insufficiently aware of his activist attitude and statements. That is wrong, a big mistake. If we had gone deeper into that, we would certainly not have invited him."

Volunteer organization distanced itself form Nelson's statements on Twitter. The organization started an open chat conversation with people with pedophilic feelings during the broadcast. "Our conversation is about dealing responsibly with pedophile feelings. Not worthy of TV, but more important."