Holland’s Got Talent Racist Judge Gordon, Chinese Reactions

Judge Gordon Heuckeroth made racist comments and stereotypes when Chinese contestant Xiao Wang appeared on Holland's Got Talent.

Judge Gordon Heuckeroth made racist comments and stereotypes when Chinese contestant Xiao Wang appeared on Holland's Got Talent.

The following video on popular Chinese video sharing website Youku was viewed around 200k times within half a day of being uploaded…

From Youku:

WTF! Holland’s Got Talent Judge Openly Mocks Chinese Contestant, Sparks Public Indignation

On last week’s Holland’s Got Talent, a contestant from China named Xiao Wang [Young Wang] was mocked by the judges! He said he would be singing the Duke’s aria “La donna è mobile” from Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi‘s Rigoletto, never expecting that judge Gordon would immediately quip: “Which number are you singing? Number 39 with rice?” What more, after Xiao Wang’s stunning performance, Gordon said: “This is the best Chinese I’ve had in weeks, and it’s not takeaway” [Note: The original Chinese text and subtitles on the Youku copy of the video translates this incorrectly as “This is the best Chinese person I’ve ever seen, and it isn’t even a delivery boy”]. At the end, he even says: “He looks like a waiter from a Chinese restaurant.” Upon broadcast, this attracted public media attention, with many people even demanding that the judge be fired. The handsome SYTYCD judge from American Dan Karaty next to him seemed a bit upset, quietly saying: “You’re really not supposed to say things like that to people” [Note: Original Chinese text is more like: “How can you openly say that kind of stuff?”] which was rebuffed by the judge who made fun of Xiao Wang with a smile!

Comments on Youku:


Can’t be helped, the Chinese people [there probably] don’t interact with mainstream society, and must have left this kind of impression [on the judge].


Just look at it as entertainment. Foreigners’ humor all has a bit of ridicule/mockery in it. Don’t be oversensitive.


Sometimes it is just for entertainment effect, no need to be so serious and make everything into public indignation. What about the nicknames we give Euro-American celebrities? What if they came and protested it saying they are insults? Talking as if Chinese people don’t make jokes about other people’s countries on TV…


Does this judge have a vicious tongue with everyone or did he only ridicule the Chinese contestant? These two things are very different, and the media has responsibility for making it clear.


Is there going to be a boycott again? Say, overseas Chinese people sure are busy. Sometimes people are just joking, and it is because of your own internal insecurity that you’re so sensitive. Personally I think using ridiculing and mocking them back is the right way to respond, whereas protesting and verbal condemnation ultimately gets you an insincere apology in the end and is without any meaning at all.

放几个: (responding to above)

First read carefully, is it ethnic Chinese people who want to do this [boycott, protest]? It’s foreign media who are criticizing. If you don’t know how to go onto foreign websites, don’t make ignorant comments. What an inferiority complex you have. Others are being racist and you even tacitly approve/agree. They’re insulting us all, not a specific person, or do you happen to be a fast food waiter?


What he said was: This is the best Chinese food I’ve had this week, and it wasn’t takeout… I think he is using the best Chinese food to describe his voice.


Protest and boycott the program, boycott the television channel, boycott the shareholders.


I’m indifferent. If someone calls you a pig, does that make you a pig?


I happen to think the more grassroots one is, the better~ Every occupation has people working in it, are there no Americans or Dutch who are service staff? So he thinks the guy is a waiter, it doesn’t matter. It’s just like how Filipinos are always associated with Filipino maids. That’s just conventional thinking, without any good or bad meaning. However, killing all Chinese people, that’s real racism and not a joke.


This kind of speech is too common these days~~ It’s definitely time to curb it~~


It’s not as if discrimination against colored people in Western countries is new.


You guys need to be understanding of Holland, it’s a country where prostitution is legal, so their mothers are all prostitutes!


Don’t be too sensitive, foreigners usually wear colored-glasses when looking at Asians, Africans, and Latin Americans. Hehe.


China can only get stronger day by day in order to satisfyingly slap these kinds of people in the face.


Now this is what I call discrimination… I felt that thing with Jimmy was completely making a fuss about nothing…


I’m floored by people in the comments saying things like he was just joking and to not take it seriously. You guys make a joke about white people and on this kind of platform [popular TV show] and see what happens. And saying things like only insecure people would be angry. Well you sure aren’t insecure, kneeling and licking laowai‘s asses thinking you are so internally secure/self-confident, right? Even that American judge thought it was going too far. Why is there a bunch of retards in this country who shamelessly say don’t be narrow-minded/petty? There must be something wrong with their brains.


I also heard the other judge say at the end, “you’re really not suppose to say things like that to people, it’s just awful.” Shows there are differences between how individuals are raised.


If it comes to arguments Chinese people would not necessarily lose to them. It’s just that Xiao Wang felt this kind of behavior was very childish and wasn’t necessary.


It was a little going too far… I’d flip out if I were on that stage.


Just because we don’t let others look down on us doesn’t mean others will look highly upon us. Xiao Wang’s politeness is a kind of self-possession. We just need to mind ourselves and work hard [and we’ll get respect].


Can race/ethnicity be used so casually for jokes? Hehe – – Some people shouldn’t think this is integrating with foreign humor culture. They may be joking but the racial prejudice that is revealed is still enough to annoy people. Xiao Wang said he was studying for his PhD and that judge even says he thinks he’s a waiter, do you think this is just making a joke – – ? Nowadays, very few people dare to say discriminatory things towards black people, but to overseas Chinese who have also suffered similar difficulties, a blind eye is turned towards this kind of suffering, nor is there a large movement to oppose such deep-rooted discrimination. Acknowledging the existence of discrimination doesn’t mean it is reasonable/acceptable, and one can openly do so on stage.


The racism of white people has always been strong…


The other two judges both looked awkward/embarrassed. If a show uses homosexuals for a joke, the entire world would criticize them to death. When people use Chinese people for a joke, you instead get people saying not to be petty.


You don’t see them daring to make fun of black people, because black people aren’t easy to provoke [are more likely to fight back].


I’m reminded of a trip once where I met a person. While chatting with him, I felt he was very gentlemanly and self-possessed. He said he’s Polish, and I thought in my heart, wow, Poland has such nice/good people like this. My impression of Polish people were they were all mafia. So it’s the same. Perhaps he [judge Gordon] is just biased in his understanding of a country he’s unfamiliar with, or maybe he really had some other [mean-spirited] thinking, who knows? Our countrymen should be mindful of their behavior when abroad, to give other people a good impression, and perhaps this kind of thing will slowly decrease, right?


This “joke” is much more serious than what the little child said on Jimmy Kimmel last time. Children’s words carry no harm, while this bastard is directly mocking. If you’re protecting this kind of person, do you still have any dignity left? Laughable.


I truly think it is racism… Our countrymen really need to take this seriously, and not dismiss it as just joking or whatever! Respect begins with oneself. If you don’t respect yourself, others will increasingly disrespect you! To say this kind of speech openly and especially in front of the media is completely without any character to speak of!


Discrimination. Saying these kind of things in private conversation I can understand, but to say these kind of things on a public TV program or situation is really inappropriate.


It’s not that bad. Aren’t we a bit discriminatory against Japan and bang zi? Overall I feel that the more [Chinese people] are like this, the more everyone feels Chinese people are nitpicky and can’t take a joke.

丨Handsome丶: (responding to above)

+! One’s own country can only be criticized by oneself! This is very normal.

放几个: (responding to above)

Those more one looks down upon oneself, the more they think this is humor. That incident with the child last time was indeed a small matter, but the television channel apologizing for airing it was necessary, even if the overseas Chinese went a bit too far. However, this is pure racism, and you people unbelievable think it is humor?


To be honest, I think it isn’t that bad. This video isn’t that exaggerated and I think it was more teasing and not malicious insults.


Can only say that judge is a bit stupid and mentally deficient. I bet his daughter and his mom are both blonde :D


Essentially all the comments who think these are just jokes are made by women. Talk about long hair and short [little] knowledge/intelligence, all day chasing after Korean celebrities until they’re mentally retarded, not even knowing [the difference between] joking and racism. What more, this isn’t just us who think it is wrong, even foreign media are saying it is wrong, and still you [girls] are here thinking it is just humor.


What are your Chinese people getting worked up about? Foreigners always looked down upon you, especially those of you whose characters are so low they’re up their assholes! What use is it that you have a lot of people? Getting angry just because others look down on you, can’t even take this kind of joke. In that case, you don’t quality to go abroad!


Wouldn’t it have been better if he [Xiao Wang] had replied: “Because you’ve seen too little of the world” or something like that?


Foreigners are so high and mighty… There will come a day when Chinese wipe you all out…

貌岸然比不要脸强: (responding to above)

Your speech is much more serious [wrong] than that judge’s. Respect should be mutual.

Judge Gordon Heuckeroth made racist comments and stereotypes when Chinese contestant Xiao Wang appeared on Holland's Got Talent.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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