“Holland’s Got Talent” … and racist judges

By Jae-Ha Kim
November 23, 2013

There’s a Dutch talent show called “Holland’s Got Talent.” A better title would be, “These Judges are Racist A-holes.”

A contestant of Chinese descent came on to sing “La donna è mobile.” When he says his name is Xiao Wang, the female judge says, “Oh, that’s OK.” Yes, because Xiao Wang isn’t a normal name like another one of the judges: Cornelis Willem Heuckeroth.

Speaking of Heuckeroth, he’s the most offensive of the judges, who makes dig after dig at the good natured, but clearly uncomfortable contestant.

Some of his bon mots?

• Which [Verdi] number are you singing. Number 39 with rice?
• He said Xiao’s voice was a surplise.
• Then he added, “Honestly, this is the best Chinese I’ve had in weeks. And it’s not a takeaway.”
• And, in Dutch, Hueckeroth added, “He looks like a waiter from a Chinese restaurant.”

This is after they determined that Xiao looked like a scientist. Like that’s supposed to be a bad thing. Because I’m sure they’re mistaken for Hugh Jackman on a regular basis.

Just this week, my own friends had made disparaging comments about Chinese people being uncivilized for eating dogmeat. (I’m sure they say it about me, too, when I’m not around.)

You know what I think is uncivilized? Making fun of people because they are different from you.

Honest to goodness. This world is a mess.

© 2013 JAE-HA KIM | All Rights Reserved

Comments (12)

  1. chipmnk says:

    Just let out a big sigh.

  2. Juan Alcazar says:

    I felt bad for the guy. Glad he didn’t let the comments get to him. I don’t get it why some people think it’s ok to poke fun at a group of people.

  3. tinyviolins says:

    Just a few days ago, I was having a conversation with a stranger on the bus about racism in other countries. He was an American from the South, one who traveled a lot, and he said the topic Europeans most want to discuss with Americans — apart from their shitty healthcare and overall stupidity — was racism in the States. “We don’t have that problem!” They’ll declare proudly. Sweden doesn’t have a problem with racism! (…) Neither does France. Neither does France, okay?? And so on…Of course, this statement typically precedes one about the dangers of being near brown people.

    Racism isn’t a problem there. No sirree. So stop talking about it.

    After all, it was just a joke. I’m sure he didn’t mean any harm by it. That’s what counts, right?


  4. accidentalajumma says:

    Yep, that was pretty depressing.

  5. Derek Plant says:

    I have watched a sum total of 5 minutes of any of the “Got Talent” shows simply for this reason. I find the conduct of the judges generally condescending, rude and unbecoming to the industry.

  6. Judy says:

    I think people think it’s more acceptable to make fun of Asians because of the model minority myth and general perceptions that Asians are demure and non-threatening. Had that been soneone of a different racial/ethnic background – I doubt would’ve happened. Despicable.

  7. Kristine Lee says:

    Wow. What a douche bag. So racist. Can’t believe he could get away with saying such racist remarks like that. But then again, they are in Holland.

  8. ladyfaceshai says:


  9. Linda Baehr says:

    It just goes to show that there are assholes in every country.

  10. harpersmum says:


  11. erick vallely says:

    hollands always been racist. people assume that because they like sex, and drugs, that it means theyre not racist. well, the dutch love sex, and drugs, but if youre Arab, or Chinese, then stay away from them. alot of non-Chinese asians also join in on the anti-Chinese racism but eventually it comes back on them. a Japanese woman had eggs thrown at her in europe. the europeans probably thought she was Chinese, but who can tell the difference really?

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