Dutch award-winning actor Nasrid Dchar lost a contract to make a radio advert for the health ministry because he did not sound enough like an immigrant.
The 37-year-old actor, who is of Moroccan origin, said in a Facebook post that he likes doing voice-overs because the part does not depend on his appearance or cultural background.
However, he was shocked to be told by the production company: ‘You speak really ABN (proper Dutch). Could you read the text again, but a bit more like a foreigner.’
‘I thought I had misheard them and they said “other tone” not “allochtoon” because they sound so similar,’ he he wrote. ‘So I collected my thoughts and said “okay, lets do it again in another tone.”
Two weeks later Dchar was told by the ministry they would not be using his voice ‘because I don’t sound enough like a foreigner’.
The health ministry later apologised to Dchar on Facebook. ‘The aim of the ad was to reach a relatively young, unskilled group about health insurance and it had to be easy for them to understand and relate to,’ the ministry said.
‘So we decided to go for something other than a standard voice and be more streetwise.’
Dchar hit the headlines when he won the Golden Calf as best actor in 2011 and made a heartfelt speech about being a Dutch Moroccan actor. ‘I’m a Dutchman. I am very proud of my Moroccan blood. I’m a Muslim and I am holding a fucking Golden Calf,’ he said.
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