RTL gets official complaint about Gordon’s Chinese jokes

The Amsterdam discrimination register has made a formal complaint to broadcaster RTL Nederland about comments made by Dutch celebrity Gordon about a Chinese contestant in a tv talent show.

During Holland’s Got Talent earlier this month, Gordon made jokes about opera singer Xiao Wang, asking him if he was going to sing ‘number 39 with rice’ and saying his performance was a ‘sulplise’.

‘Reacting to someone on the basis of their appearance by trying to be funny is … stigmatising and therefore an insult to the Chinese in the Netherlands,’ the complaint said.

Gordon’s style is to be funny through exaggeration but in this case he crossed ‘acceptable boundaries’.


The Amsterdam discrimination register received 13 complaints, 12 of them from the Chinese community, news agency ANP said. This is notable because the Chinese community is closed, said spokeswoman Jessica Silversmith. ‘I think they have now had enough of the constant negative stereotyping.’

The contestant Xiao Wang is a PhD student at Groningen University.

Gordon has described his comments as an ‘innocent joke’ which were unconnected to racism. The participant himself did not feel attacked ‘and that, for me, is the most important thing’, he told the Telegraaf. ‘The case is closed.’

See also: Chinese Dutch stand-up

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