YouTube won’t ban Zwarte Piet blackface this year

Youtube will not ban the portrayal of Zwarte Piet in blackface makeup on its platform this year, according to parent company Google.

Zwarte Piet is the name given to the assistant of Sinterklaas. Actors playing the character have often used makeup to darken their skin color and make their lips redder and wider. They often wear black curly wigs and an earring. The costume has been seen as a racist portrayal by movements in the Netherlands and around the world, but others say the darker skin color and hair is a result of the entry and exit of fireplaces.

Google “doesn’t want to hinder discussion on Zwarte Piet”, spokesperson told

While Google won’t ban the portrayal of Zwarte Piet, they announced last year that content portraying the character would not be monetized with advertising. These guidelines also apply to Piet with spots and smears instead of a completely dark skin color. The monetization policy does not extend to journalistic or educational videos.

Also last year, Facebook and Instagram banned images of Zwarte Piet as part of a global policy against the use of racist and anti-Semitic images. There are exceptions to the ban. A spokesperson compares the situation to the depiction of animal abuse: “It is forbidden to show abused animals. But the problem should not be passed over in silence. An animal rights activist always wants to show what is wrong with the treatment of animals in some cases. gruesome images aren’t normally allowed, but if you want to get your point across, you should be able to. ”

Images of Piets that are part of the news or without darkened elements are still allowed on the platforms.

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