Bol.com bans Zwarte Piet in favour of ‘Piet’, changes references to skin colour

The popular online retailer bol.com has announced that starting late September, they will no longer be selling products containing the stereotypical image of Zwarte Piet

“Feeling welcome does not go hand in hand with a product range that incites discrimination/hatred and is therefore experienced as hurtful,” the retailer said in a statement. The company has developed its new policy according to feedback from customers, partners, and external experts.

Books containing historical reference to the character will still be sold, in alignment with bol.com’s beliefs about freedom of speech. However, there may be cases where they make an exception for books that incite discrimination.

The company’s new policy reflects changes in terminology as well. In product titles and descriptions, ‘Zwarte Piet’ will be changed to ‘Piet’. When referring to skin tones, where they would previously write ‘white’ they will now use ‘beige.’

The news follows last week’s announcement by Facebook and Instagram that they will be banning photos in support of Zwarte Piet from their platform.

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Feature Image: Aloxe/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Brin Andrews
Brin Andrewshttp://brinandrews.com
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.

1 COMMENT

  1. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/beige

    Does bol.com’s wokeness, and thus intolerance, mean it’s now racist to use the term white? Changing Black Pete to Sooty Pete is fair enough, but is bol.com itself being racist by refusing to acknowledge that there are folks whose skin is more white than light-brown, implying that white is now somehow taboo.

    Perhaps bol.com will soon go all the way and engage in book burning of any publications it considers to be unwoke. And to think it’s a Dutch company; seriously, whatever happened to Dutch tolerance and compromise.

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