Dutch Fashion Magazine Apologizes For Calling Rihanna The N-Word

Dutch fashion magazine Jackie recently published a feature on how to copy Rihanna‘s style–this makes sense because Rihanna’s a risk taker who always looks like herself and sometimes manages to do so in Jean Paul Gaultier couture. However, the copy that accompanies all this Rihanna-inspired merchandise goes like this:

She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate n***abitch and she displays that gladly — for her that means what’s on can come off. If that means she’ll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren’t like Jamaican [ed. note: Rihanna is actually Barbadian, not Jamaican] ones, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten [temperatures]. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink ‘shizzle,’ and everything that glitters. Now let’s hope she won’t beat anybody up at daycare.

Whoa! That… is… crazy. On at least three levels, right? First, there’s the use of that horrible term. Then there’s the casual, almost cutesy (?) Jamaica/Barbadian gaffe. Third, how old are these daughters?

Anyway, the glossy’s EIC Eva Hoeke posted the below apology on the magazine’s Facebook page:

First: thanks for all your responses. We are of course very fed up over this and especially very
shocked. However I’m glad that we’re engaging in a dialogue on this page — not everybody does
that. Thanks for this. Other than that I can be brief about this: this should have never happened.

While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was a bad joke, to say the least. And that slipped through my, the editor-in-chief’s, fingers. Stupid, painful and sucks for all concerned. The author has been addressed on it, and now I can only ensure that these terms will no longer end up in the magazine. [tagbox tag="racism"]

Furthermore I hope that you all believe there was absolutely no racist motive behind the choice of words. It was stupid, it was naive to think that this was an acceptable form of slang — you hear it all the time on tv and radio, then your idea of what is normal apparently shifts — but it was especially misguided: there was no malice behind it. We make our magazine with love, energy and enthusiasm, and it can sometimes happen that someone is out of line. And then you can only do one thing: apologize. And hope that others wish to accept it.

They’re also, apparently, chalking it up to bad Google translating. Yikes.


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    • Ash

      Bad translating? I’m calling bullshit on that. The Dutch know what those words mean and they know how they are meant to be used. It’s like the editor asked the people over at GQ about making lame excuses.

    • To reason or not to

      Keep in mind that Dutch are way more free to express them then what press in USA can do. And they can go way more towards the edge with it. Negro, nigger has not the same context it has it has in USA. And it is published in a Dutch language magazine. On TV for instance you can say whatever you want without being beeped. If you say fuck the queen or fuck the president or the queen is white trash… they will air it. I guess Netherlands is not the same as the US? Rascims because of colour is not realy an issue in Netherlands. It is a much larger problem in the USA. Maybe that is why Americans react too sensitive on these kind of foreign journalism. My advice check out the magazine and see the context of it. ;)

      • Voice of Reason

        @To reason or not to:

        I’m sorry but, I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH YOU! I live in the Netherlands and I have to say that telling people that “Rascims because of colour is not realy an issue in Netherlands. It is a much larger problem in the USA” is not true in any light. It may take a different angle but make no mistake…it still comes from the same colonial starting point. PLEASE, do not confuse the Dutch habit of indifference with openmindedness. This is a common mistake that leads to this kind of rubbish being printed, and furthermore, leads to their own citizens of colour having to put up with offensive remarks and traditions every day. Then when challenged over their ignorance, they respond with a very arrogant “it’s your problem, because you are too sensitive” kind of attitude. It’s simply not acceptable.
        Not to mention…if you read the full content of this disgraceful article, like you are suggesting it doesn’t make it better… it only becomes more insulting.

      • babygrey

        it has the EXACT same context there are just fewer black people to call them out on it.
        think stupid white frat boys with only one black friend multiplied by a whole nation …

    • rose

      I’m a native English speaker in Holland, the Dutch openly use the word in their language, there are even choc- covered marshmallows called N**ger Kisses. When I shun them for saying it in English they are genuinely surprised at my reaction. Would think better of a journalist though.

    • Anne

      in repy to By Voice of …

      Seen from your style of writing and use of word choice you are certainly not Dutch. Who are you kidding…yourself? Go visit Amsterdam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BeoYa1wwcM

      Och wat zijn we op z’n teentjes getrapt? KutAmerikanen ook en hun zwart witte denken. LOL

    • sac en cuir

      My advice check out the magazine and see the context of it, sac-de-luxes.com

    • Jaz

      I just came to see if you guys were putting quotation marks around the word racist in this article, too.

    • Kelly

      Well, it is a bit more understandable (NOT acceptable) that this is a Dutch magazine and not an American one. Obviously they should have checked their facts better, but things can be misinterpreted through translation.

      Some words need to be heard in context, not just a definition, so if the author wasn’t always around the language and slang of american-English, he may have not even known the extremely controversial context of his words.

    • beatrice

      Ohh, so white ppl can offend us black girls by calling us n*gga b*tch, and its fine, because we are nothing but a piece of crap in their eyes?? They are pushing us about everyday, telling us how to live our lives and insult us left to right. But no one sees anything wrong with that, or even raise concern for all the distress they cause us (riri) everyday, huh?? Why do white ppl get away with so much???

    • Duncan

      I think the editor: Eva Hoeke should be fired on the spot, this is racism and it just show’s that it still exist in The Netherlands. I just think that it’s not allowed to write such “BS” in any kind of context. It’s just racism and it’s very painful, and there is no excuse whatsoever for it. I think that “Eva Hoeke” should be punished with watching the movie Color Purple a thousand times, maybe she will learn something, but I doubt it.

    • jay

      negros gones dutch :)