Giant online retailer Bol.com will no longer sell products with Zwarte Piet on it from the end of September. Bol.com is to ban all portrayals of Zwarte Piet which show a stereotyped caricature or people in full blackface make-up, the company confirmed on Wednesday. According to the webshop, customers have said they find it annoying that these items are still being sold.
Bol.com, part of the Ahold Delhaize group, said in addition, that the term Zwarte Piet in all texts is to be changed for Piet. The change is being made in both the Netherlands and Belgium because of new insights and current events, the company is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS.
Piet costumes will still be sold, but without black wigs and big gold earrings. Books about Zwarte Piet written from an educational or historical perspective will also still be allowed, but the content will be marked as controversial.
External sellers who sell their articles via bol.com were informed by the webshop about the step at the end of July. They have more than a month to sell out or remove their items from the range.
In addition, bol.com will actively ban the articles from the platform and the term ‘Zwarte Piet’ will no longer be used in texts. Pieten with other colors or soot-wiping piets are still welcome on the platform.
Starting next month, bol.com will also ensure that the term ‘skin color’ is replaced by the word ‘beige’ or another color when it comes to white skin. According to the spokesperson, customers were bothered that light tights are sometimes referred to as skin-colored tights, while not everyone has that skin color.
Last week, Facebook and Instagram said they would remove content which shows ‘clear blackface makeup’ and ‘stereotypes about Jewish people controlling the world’, if alerted to the photos by users.
[Source: NOS and other media]