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.

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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.

  • David

    You post is just full of comments I do not understand. 5000 years of history (if you really want to claim that) is not the same as 5000 years of culture (unless you want to try and claim the Tang culture was the same as the Han culture was the same as the Qin culture was the same as the Song culture was the same as the Mongrel culture was the same as the Manchurian culture etc…). To whom is it common knowledge that the Dutch do not have “any talents”? The Dutch are quite famous for the talented painters they have produced over the centuries. Finally, face is a construct of certain Asian cultures, not a European thing.

  • David

    Zane, History does not equal culture. History is a written record of what has
    happened in a certain place at a certain time. Culture is the
    practices, beliefs and customs passed from generation to generation
    among a people, this changes over time. Now does that mean some
    cultural phenomenon has not been around for a long time. Of course it
    has (such as the Confucian desire for everything having a place), but to
    talk about China as if it has some national memory that its people
    share (and therefore benefit from) is absurd. You would not even be
    able to get 10 Chinese people to agree on what Chinese culture is, and
    none would probably agree with whatever idea you have in your head.
    Then to take this imagined ancient culture and use the idea to denigrate
    others is simple hubris. He probably has about as
    much idea of Chinese culture as you have of Dutch culture.

  • Zappa Frank

    never read more bullshit in one post…but more than anything no talent “towoard soccer”? this is pure ignorance..they sre probably the most talented, the rate football star/poopulation in holand is high…

  • Zappa Frank

    wrong. antiracism is a white thing, like human rights, race equality, snf

  • Kai

    “Supplies” instead of “surprise” isn’t mocking his accent?

    #39 with rice, “supplies”, Chinese take-out, restaurant waiter, etc. aren’t repeated jokes?

    “Loser” is to reflect the denigration inherent in making fun of him as being a Chinese waiter in a Chinese restaurant, the juxtaposition of someone in a low-level job versus someone who is studying for their PhD.

    You don’t complain about people being called laowai but you know many people do. I’d be more inclined to think you fair if I ever saw you antagonistically dismiss and insult those people but I’ll accept that you think they’re whiney bitches too.

    I’m not seeing how my analogy is less analogous than yours but I am interested in how you might defend your hypothetical as analogous.

  • Ari

    How can you compare a great European nation to “a frog at the bottom of a well,” Zane? Silly little man say such moronic things.

  • TheSOP

    He is a Westerner of Asian decent with very little actual time spent in the region, his ignorance is understandable, his racism on the other hand is deplorable.

  • Kai

    Malice doesn’t define whether or not something is racist. Neither does intending compliment. One can intend compliment but offend.

    It’s interesting that you accuse me of being riled up when your response is to belittle those who have objected to this with such aggressive and indignant language as “cry more, seriously” and now with “get over it, cupcake”. In juxtaposition, I think my language has been pretty sedate and civil here.

    The world isn’t full of flowers and “harmony” but I don’t think objecting to one’s ethnicity being publicly belittled on a popular show broadcasted on national TV is “crying” and “blowing things up.” I don’t recall you having this dismissive and aggressively belittling attitude about Yang Rui.

    Overstating would be accusing Gordon of malice. I’m not accusing him of that, am I? Is anyone? What people have said is that his jokes were racist and thus offensive and objectionable. I don’t think any of the non-Chinese people who have likewise criticized him for this look petty, weak, or faux-victimized. Do you?

    • Rick in China

      “Yang Rui” doesn’t offend me. Not even on my radar, couldn’t care less.

      You’re accusing him of malice, your analogy made that obvious. You said he is basically saying the guy is equal to a loser, a hairy ape (I didn’t catch anything remotely close to physical insults about his body, more exaggeration from you), and saying he was mocked on national TV etc. Based on what? A couple stupid comments/jokes, said in jest with a smile by someone who tried to say the guy was impressive and voted him to move on to the next round of the competition, even though those were clearly and obviously *stupid* comments by a relatively stupid man.

      We can agree that judge is an idiot.

      We can’t agree on the fact what he did was so offensive. I don’t think it was. I do think people who are overly offended by what he said, are petty, weak, and faux-victims – absolutely.

      • Kai

        I provided a hypothetical that was more analogous to the offense preceived. The “loser English teacher” and “hairy ape” were meant to illustrate how likening Xiao Wang to a Chinese restaurant waiter is denigrating. I felt this was more analogous than your Canadian maple syrup example as far as communicating what people found offensive and racist about it.

        Trying to explain what was offensive by way of analogy is not accusing Gordon of malice.

        Saying someone physically looks like a Chinese restaurant waiter is a “physical insult about his body”, or more accurately, a remark about one’s physical appearance. I don’t think likening someone to a waiter is ever regarded as a compliment anywhere in this world because it is fairly universally regardled as a low-level menial labor job. This is especially apparent when you know Gordon knew he was a PhD student.

        Saying he was mocked on national TV is also not an accusation of malice. It’s an emphasis on why this is more notable than Gordon saying the same things in a private conversation with a Chinese guy. I know you understand that being publicly made fun of is commonly regarded as more serious than being privately made fun of.

        We agree the comments and jokes were stupid. You aggressively attacked people who found it objectionable; I defended them. The other judge Dan Karaty also censured Gordon for his comments, as we saw in the video. Was he being a whiny bitch? Was he being petty, weak, and feigning victimization? How can he or any of the other non-Asian people who criticized Gordon be “faux victims”?

        Moreover, who here is “overly offended”? What’s the difference between “reasonably offended” and “overly offended” to you?

        I hope you can recognize that nowhere here in my replies to you am I demanding that you find it “so offensive”. My first reply was merely a disagreement with your hypothetical as being analogous. My subsequent replies were disagreements with your representations of what happened. It’s all quite objective.

  • Debbie Zaliger

    For those who really want to do something about it, go to this site and sign the petition to get this bastard judge removed from the program:


    • ThomasER916

      LOL! You’re such a fking idiot. You moron ethno-masochists will be banished to Africa.

  • Debbie Zaliger

    This is NOT funny, I am dutch and my chinese friend told me it’s abusive, I am glad you’re brainwashed enough to think this is cool, but it isn’t

  • Debbie Zaliger

    The Dutch are racists, here is proof:


    No more trade with this disgusting country would suit them well!

    • ThomasER916

      You really are stupid.

  • RagnarDanneskjold

    Lots of common sense comments from the netizens. I guess wumaodang took the day off.

    Racism has been reduced to “I’m offended”, whether it’s legitimate or not. As can be seen in some comments here, it whips up the rabbit army to go and try to get the bad man or woman fired, their life destroyed. These people are the real scum, the mob lynch army sent to destroy someone for some tasteless comment or joke that flopped. There are several examples only this year of people being destroyed because of a single tweet or mention on their Facebook. China’s human flesh search engine has done this too. It’s very easy to stop this mob though: ignore them. It’s when you give in that they go on to search for the the witch to burn.

  • That’s marvelous

    They shouldn’t
    take it personal, he does that to everyone and everything. It’s a type of no-brainer
    associative ‘humor’ (ie. say the first offensive thing that comes into
    your mind when you see something), that is widely used in the Netherlands
    by untalented people that want to appear funny.

    Gordon is one
    of the
    stupidest, and many Dutch people are ashamed of him. But they keep
    showing such guys on tv because they are popular with the white trash. A
    popular game-show called “i love holland” actually has a weekly
    reoccurring item in which a chinese guy gets mocked.

    Anyway, he’s a total hypocrite. Dare to make one nasty joke about his gay-ness and he will be outraged.

  • My_honourable_lord

    What an utter fool for coming out with that kind of nonsense.

  • My_honourable_lord

    Racism is a white thing? So what about the asian variety of racism? African racism? Neither directed at white people but within their own continent. I can list the names but I suspect you are aware of this. Keep an eye on the news. China has just declared those little islands as being within its airspace and has in the same breath stated military measures. Watch the comments for a very unique blend of racism.

  • My_honourable_lord


  • trufax

    that’s a really childish attitude you have there

  • FMN

    This guy tried to be funny with dry (racist) jokes and it did not go well

  • lasolitaria

    1 year old boy? Grandpa? What nonsense is this? Whatever: when China didn’t even know that a land called Holland existed, the Dutch were already setting up trading posts in the Americas, Africa and Asia, some of the latter right under China’s isolationist, self-centered, backwards, stuck-deep-up-its-own-bottom nose. Seriously, how retarded can you be?

  • lasolitaria

    Again with the 5,000 year bullshit. Your “nation” goes back in time only to the extent that there were people who held the same national self-identification you do now. No one self-identified as “Chinese” 5,000 years ago.

    And no Chinese is 5,000 years old. That means no Chinese can claim to have any more “cultural background-related worth” (or whatever you may call it; it’s so absurd a concept words struggle to name it) than any non-Chinese of the same experience.

  • My_honourable_lord

    Hah? Like you have to ask someone else to look at it for you? :-)

  • Guest

    Grow some thick skin already and throw it right back at him. This thing about being PC was the downfall of America and will be the downfwall of China if you all don’t grow up and learn how to dish out right back out at him.

  • Hang Em Man

    Grow some thick skin already and throw it right back at him. This thing about being PC was the downfall of America and will be the downfall of China if you all don’t grow up and learn how to dish out right back out at him.

  • Anthony M Ludovici

    China already has functional immigration laws and strict, easy to apply deportation rules which are, in fact, frequently applied.

    Try to do that over here and some old faggot Judge living in his £10 million house in Kensington or Mayfair will invoke an ECHR ruling (usually Article 6) and the guy stays put.

  • Anthony M Ludovici

    You’re comparing apples and oranges, although legally Holland and China are both the same kind of polity (a nation state), China is a civilization-state encompassing a vast, antique history – A more fair comparison would be China with “The West”.

    The West being, not as liberals envision it (a place where gays are allowed to suck each other off in public), but as a similar sort of partly homogenized cultural zone, with similar antecedent roots to its constituents national culture.

    This means things like Greco-Roman thought, Greco-Roman art, Roman Law, Western literature as beginning with Homer, Western comedy as beginning with Aeshylus and co, Christianity (both philosophically and literally) etc. In this sense, Holland is very antique. Just look at its architecture if you want proof of this. Naturally, the West has been more fractuous and chaotic and China, with its Confucianism, arguably much more stable, but this doesn’t mean the West isn’t antique.

    Think of Western eras (antiquity, middle ages, renaissance, modern era) as the equivalent to Chinese dynasties.

  • Dutchey

    There are other examples of racism in The Netherlands. A black student applied for a internship at Mike de Wilde Electronics (http://bit.ly/1aXL7nZ) and got an internal mail reply on his application by accident: “I’ve checked it. He’s nothing. Because it’s a coloured guy (nigger). And he has little experience with computers. Kind regards, Ruben Willemsen.”. It was in the news (http://bit.ly/1hkAgsq), but many Dutch people replied: “So what? If you don’t want black people to work for you, than it’s your right. They can go back where they come from.”

    Also Google for “Zwarte Piet” and see the similarity with a white actors painted black in the past. “Zwarte Piet” is a (often dumb) black helper of the white Sinterklaas.

    • ThomasER916

      Why doesn’t that “black student” improve Africa? If they’re so smart then why can’t they fix Africa?

      Liberia was supposed to be the African experiment modeled after America. It looks like any Negro area – a slum.

  • ChiFun

    4453 signatures so far, people! Sign the petition if you’re against casual racism and if you want RTL to apologize. Spread the link. ;)

    • ThomasER916

      I want more “racism.” ;)

  • Cynic-Al

    Yang Rui says, “Hi!”

  • Repatriated

    After hearing (often very loudly) “Helllooooooooooo” and “kan kan lao wai” for 8 years of living in China, the Dutch guy is off the hook. Haha.

  • ThomasER916

    You’re really stupid.

  • ThomasER916

    You’re such an idiot.

  • whoregrain

    I am surprised that the Chinese are far less racist than Westerners. When you go on youtube, you see comments like “KILL ALL THE CHINKS” “CHINKS ARE ANIMALS” and so forth, but here their comments are so mature and not racist at all.