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Books containing historical reference to the character will still be sold, in alignment with bol.com’s beliefs about freedom of speech.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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