Comedian’s failed photo gag about black boy going viral

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Zeeman-folder

Dutch comedian Guido Weijers stirred the pot on Facebook recently by placing the photo of a small boy advertising bear and ape cuddly toys for Zeeman (bargain items chain), with the ape cropped out and the words “ape or bear” left in.

By cropping out the ape Weijers tried to make a joke about why such a photo hadn’t been addressed in the Zwarte Piet discussion, comparing the boy to an ape. His joke fell flat and he spent some time writing apologies. He’s managed to piss off Zeeman (surely), the casting agency (probably), the mother (absolutely), and anyone including the Dutch courts who think Zwarte Piet is a relic.

When the boy’s mother saw the cropped version of the picture, she said it felt like her heart stopped and asked Weijers to remove the joke, which he refused to do. On a Dutch news show, she calmly explained that her son is in a very nice advert (his first photo shoot), and an adult has created an image of her son as an ape. “He’s five years old, he can’t defend himself and he’s proud to be in that picture,” she said clearly relaying her emotions.

Weijers apologised in a letter to the mother, saying he had no idea the joke would go that far, which is very lame considering he posted it online. The mother is considering pressing charges against Weijers.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo: Zeeman)

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