Thursday, November 12, 2009
Dutch television host criticised for impersonating a black woman
Is it blackface or not, that is the question. Dutch television host Wendy van Dijk transformed herself into a stereotype black Antillean woman to fool Dutch Celebs. She called her Lucretia Martine, the weather woman from Curaçao. It was a transformation like Eddy Murphy did in the Nutty Professor. But there is one big difference, Wendy van Dijk is a white woman.
The television show is a big hit in Holland, already 2 million viewers watched the first show. But not everyone is happy with Van Dijk's creation. Surinam Actress and Singer Lucretia van der Vloot and and Author Clarck called it ridiculous.
Within the Surinamese and Antillean community there is criticism that Van Dijk stereotyped Antillean women: thick lips, fat ass, lazy, and always talking about sex.
But the criticism of Van der Vloot and Accord is not about the fact that she impersonated a black woman, but that she played an Antillean woman, but talked as Surinam woman. Which is the same as playing an American woman, but talking like a Jamaican. Writer Accord feels that Van Dijk should have known better, because she went to a black urban school in Amsterdam Bijlmer.
Wendy van Dijk’s act also sparked criticism on the media in general. At this moment Van Dijk’s Antillean woman is the only 'black' woman on Dutch television. Black people aren't underrepresented they have become totally absent on Dutch television.
Van Dijk says she doesn't understand the criticism: "I am only trying to play a funny, independent and well spoken woman."
The marketing agency of the Dutch Antillean island Curacao is happy with Van Dijk’s Curaçao woman act. They have offered her a contract to promote the Island.
Van Dijk also played a Japanese woman called Ushi, Lucreatia Martina, the weather woman from Curaçao, is her latest creation.
Update: see the interesting discussion on Shadowandact about blackface and and the Dutch Antillean character here