Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Slavery - The game" is a PR stunt: official statement Dutch public broadcaster NTR

Hilversum, September 7, 2011 – It turns out that the highly controversial game trailer ‘Slavery – The Game’, that was launched September 1st, is in fact a viral.

The trailer shows how gamers may trade slaves, conquer countries and even choose their means of torture and their personal burning marks. It was revealed today that the notorious trailer is fictional. The purpose of the trailer is firstly to confront people with an important, but often-neglected part of history. Secondly, the trailer aims to increase awareness about the existence of present-day slavery.

From Sunday September 18 onwards, Dutch public broadcaster NTR brings a TV series called ‘De Slavernij’ (‘Slavery’ in Dutch). This explicit TV series shows both the obscure past as well as the present situation considering slavery.

Indignation and Discussion
The fictional trailer is a creation of Javelin Reds, which is an anagram for ‘De Slavernij’, Dutch for ‘slavery’. The trailer shows how players could ‘get to work’. It shows scenes from the illusory game, in which players could choose weapons to torture their slaves, burning marks to brand them, and how they could trade their slaves internationally. "It was by no means our intention to hurt people with the trailer. We chose this approach to create maximum awareness for slavery in general. Not just for the history of slavery, but also for slavery that still exists today", states Carla Boos, editor in chief of public broadcaster NTR.

Many people from around the world reacted with vigorous indignation to the game trailer and the short film spurred spirited discussions on online platforms. Right from the moment of its seeding on September 1st, the trailer spread like wild fire across the Internet; social media, blogs, websites…it was even mentioned on international radio and television. The video has been watched for over 400.000 times on YouTube and hundreds of websites and blogs wrote about the disputable topic. “It is a good thing to see a trailer like this leads to this amount of controversy. It really shows how people are still truly concerned about slavery”, states Carla Boos.

Street interviews show that the Dutch are not fully aware of their national history considering slavery. Also, they lack of knowledge about the current worldwide status quo on the topic. Therefore the aim of the viral was to call attention to the European share in the worldwide history of slavery. Secondly, to emphasize that slavery still exists today. Around the world, about 27 million people are exploited as slaves. Even in countries like The Netherlands modern slavery still subsists.

The television series: ‘De Slavernij’

NTR’s ‘De Slavernij’ is a historical TV series that shows perhaps the most obscure and concealed part of history: the European and Dutch involvement in trans-Atlantic slavery. In five episodes, Dutch presenters Daphne Bunskoek and Roué Verveer guide the viewer through dark past (and present) times. Bunskoek draws the greater international picture on slavery, while Verveer (of Surinam origin himself) tells a very personal tale. He even goes after his own roots in connection to slavery. The TV series depict slavery from the standpoint of ordinary people. It builds on personal records, diaries, past documents and conversations with survivors. ‘De Slavernij’ is aired every Sunday from September 18th onwards, on Nederland 2 (Dutch national TV) at 20.10h, local time.

Alongside these series, a ‘children’s version’ of the historical series will be aired: ‘De Slavernij Junior’ is presented by Lisa Wade. The children’s series show the past and present of slavery, child labour in present-day slavery as it still exists in for example Benin or Bangladesh. ‘De Slavernij Junior’ airs every Sunday from September 18th, on Dutch childrenchannel Z@PP, 18.15h local time. On children can partake in an educational game in which they can learn about contemporary slavery.

NTR is a public broadcaster that focuses on information, culture and education.

See press release:

Typical Dutch, the more offense the better.


  1. Let me get this right, they make a joke about slavery to get attention? No thank you. And the monkey on the left goes along with it?

    They made this joke at the expense of black Americans. NO THANK YOU.

  2. No Truth2011, it wasn't joke at the expense of black Americans. They wanted to promote a Dutch TV series about slavery. The Slavery Game was meant as an "awareness campaign".

  3. There are better ways of getting awareness out than making a fake video trailer about slavery. You don't need to incite people to get a reaction.

    They're based in the Netherlands yet blacks Americans have to see this garbage. Their efforts aren't in America, so why must we hear about it?

    This world isn't as small as they think. They should think about the spill over effects elsewhere.

  4. that's the world wide web my friend, slavery is not only part of American history. Let's admit the Dutch are, compared to the US, backwards in dealing with their slavery past, let them try to handle this their way, right?

  5. Not so simple. The video wasn't in Dutch but ENGLISH. If the audience was intended to be Dutch, why put it in English?

  6. Because English is the most important media language in Holland. English gives a trailer a flair of authenticity. A Game trailer in Dutch wouldn't be realistic for Dutch speaking people, as it doesn't exist. There are no games in Dutch language, in Holland films, games, sitcoms, even cartoons for kids ... are never dubbed, it's always the original English version, maybe subtitles but never dubbed like Japenese, French, Spanish, Italians, etc. English is part of daily life in Holland

  7. The maker of this trailer made it international then. And that's wrong. It's a pretty big story over here and he should have kept it there.

    Screw the creator of this garbage.

  8. whatever truth, as you wish

  9. @truth2011 The creator is talking sense, he is a very knowledgeable guy who is making people aware of slavery by doing a program, what are you doing to help black people? it's for people all over the world to know about the Dutch's invlovment in slavery and if he didn't do this alot of people would not have paid attention. I applaud him for getting up and doing something instead of talking and doing nothing.

  10. I have to agree with truth2011… to me it is a sad day when all you can come up with is a game to bring awareness to slavery. That makes no sense to me at all. Come on…a game to bring awareness…no!! There are so many other ways to bring awareness to this issue. And I’m still amazed that even to this day in Holland they have a day where they do Black face!!! That is the most insensitive thing I’ve ever heard of. My friends that are Black that live in Amsterdam hates it…but says there is nothing they can do about. They all are from Surinam ….. Then some of my friends who are Black that lives there is ok with it. Until the day he was walking into a crowd of them with Black face…they called him a monkey!! Now he hates it and understands what I was saying about the whole issue. Slavery is not just about America…it was basically everywhere. And what a lot of people don’t seem to understand…is.. We were taken from our land and our people… Some of us can be related…you never know. That is why I’m always for Black people no matter where they are from. And I’m very sensitive to their issues as well…. A game… I think that is a piss poor ways of bringing awareness to Slavery!!! A few of my Black friends from Sweden emailed me and was appalled but the whole thing… Slavery was never a joke…our people were killed just coming over in the boat. They had us stacked up on top each other like animals.. Where is the joke in that… They were whipped and hung just for expressing their own will. I mean I can go one about this… So if you want to bring awareness to this issue…teach it in schools… Have seminars about it… Pass out information about it. But a game….no way… They thought they were being cleaver by doing it this way. And I don’t understand how anyone on this site can be so cavalier about this issue….

  11. It's not a joke nor a real game it's suppose to be a presentation that shows the hard cold facts of the past. How is it a joke? Everything showed in that trailer really happened in real life. They're showing people how bad slavery is and how there is still "Modern Slavery."

  12. It’s good to be back, and I suppose it’s time to head into battle once again...

    "negroamor4u" I see you brought some friends along this time, kudos....Maybe they will want to join are little circle

    I can't say I'm not surprised with your feelings toward the "game" actually scratch that if anybody was to agree I would think you would...

    I would most definitely have to side with "Chico-Rei" I mean one thing really stands out from the interview that was conducted

    "We weren't taught about slavery in school"

    So I mean wasn't the whole point of the campaign to create controversy I mean now people are actually taken notice, I mean I would prefer this fake game than some radical "Black Pride" want to be go and shoot up a library screaming “we don't know enough about slavery”..

    And let’s be real shall we extreme situations calls for extreme actions, so I think this is just what the Dutch needed I mean if enlightenment won't come naturally what’s the next best thing force it, and I really think they forced this one..

    Good job guys keep pushing the envelopes, after all you guys are rebels..

    Oh and negoramor4u dude setting up my blog was like pulling teeth...

  13. Ok Rebel American.. As I said before and I will say it again…it sucks! I think he did get the attention that he wanted. But it was such a cheesy way he explained slavery. I really didn’t like the way he tried to water down slavery for Black people. Yes thing may have been different over there but there was still BLACK PEOPLE BEING SOLD. I’m not interested in the others only Blacks and to make an comparison was just cheap in my opinion. I just don’t like when I see someone Black that could make an even more powerful statement…water it down. I’m glad this was just for awareness because if it was over here US BLACK FOLKS WOULD NOT HAVE THAT GAME SELL…. Yes we know it is just for awareness… But let’s say this…let’s see someone make an awareness campaign about JEWS and Holocaust…there would be hell to pay. So don’t give me this lame bullshit about the issue of slavery!!!!
    And your view on Black Pride tells me you really don’t have any of your own. That statement was silly!! Let me say this some Black people in The Netherlands aren’t that interested in slavery. And I say that because they have their heads so far up some…. You know what… that they can’t see straight. So busy trying to be accepted that accept anything. I know cause I was there and I see some who are very aware and then there are those who are not. My best friend lives there and he was one of those who didn’t really give it too much thought. Only until things started happening to him. But when I would tell him something he would be like...”you American Black are just too focused on racism”. Well as I said things started happening to him…so I just said it to him. Of course he didn’t like it…but we are friends and have a very strong bond. All I am saying is awareness is a great ideal…but let’s do it in a better way. It was offensive to me!!!! I have BLACK PRIDE and all Black don’t go around shooting up libraries…and screaming for that matter. I will say this again…do an awareness campaign about Jews… And see what happens. But I want them to make a game about it as well…… Don’t think you can do and say anything you want about Blacks and expect us not to be pissed about it. Well some of us…who are aware that is…. As I said the Dutch still has that celebration where they dawn Black face….that’s some bullshit!!! You can’t tell me they don’t know that …that is offensive! Even my white brother who lives in Holland don’t like the Black face thing. Oh it is tradition….they say……well so was hanging Black people….so should they still be doing that??? Hell no!!! Let’s stop making excuses for other ignorance…. Not a good look!!! But after all of that I must say they did get the attention they! So big ups for that…. But I still don’t like it…..

  14. Oh rebel so how did you finally finsih you blog page? And welcome back brother..... yeah i said!

  15. please can we keep it tp the facts. THEY DIDNT MAKE A GAME, they made a fake promo video for a game that doesn't exist. and shouldn't exist either. the target group is not blacks, and def'tly not black americans. it is meant for unaware, uninformed white people to raise an eyebrow (which means it'll shock many blacks though),

  16. Anonymous I understand that the game was not made. And I also understand that it was a promo for others to consider. But as I stated before it was really cheesy. And I don’t care if it was not made for Black Americans. The fact of how it was presented was disturbing to me!! I would be offended if it was done the other way around as well. My Black friends who live in Amsterdam,Sweden,London,Germany,France,America were offended as well. Yes it was done to shock people and getting them to think. But it was on the web so that meant anyone could view it. So with that being said I get what you’re saying but it still is offensive. Now if this gets white people to think and makes some changes then it’s all good. But really if they haven’t thought about it by now…they could probably careless. The one thing about racism is that it is ingrainded in people. And most will always say I’m not racist…but will be the biggest bigots around. But there is always hope….right? Now if there is something I’m missing here correct me because I’m a man that is all about learning.

  17. @blackboston connections were commenting on this game in the timeline. At, we expected that one day, somebody would make a game about slavery for PCs.

    So, I see that hasn't happened yet?



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