Cabinet outraged about abuses at DWDD, NPO is investigating

Julie Hrudova

NOS NewsAmended

The NPO is conducting an investigation into cross-border behavior The world goes on by presenter Matthijs van Nieuwkerk and editors. There must also be an action plan to “prevent such things in the future”.

The statement follows consultations between NPO chairman Frederieke Leeflang and State Secretary Gunay Uslu. The reason is the Volkskrant article about the issue, which is based on testimonials from dozens of former employees of The world goes on.

“At the public broadcasters, we are all extremely shocked by the large number of employees who have had negative and frightening experiences while working for the DWDD program. This should never have happened,” says Leeflang.

The NPO has announced that it has been in talks with other media for some time, including RTL, Talpa and ITV Nederland, about a joint approach against transgressive behavior in the workplace.

It touches me that employees have felt so unsafe and have been treated very badly.

Secretary of State Uslu

In response to the reports, the NTR has canceled the recordings of the Top 2000 Quiz with Van Nieuwkerk shut down this morning.

State Secretary Uslu had asked the NPO to come up with an action plan containing concrete steps to prevent transgressive behavior in the future. She emphasizes that the public broadcaster, including BNNVARA, must guarantee a safe workplace for everyone, even when the workload is high. “It touches me that employees have felt so unsafe and have been treated very badly.”

NPO and Frans Klein

Current NPO director Video Frans Klein was responsible for DWDD for many years as media director of VARA. He told de Volkskrant, among other things, that he saw that it was intense. “Of course we ran the risk of people getting a little too ground up in this situation. We tried to pay attention to that in our own way. In retrospect, maybe not enough.”

An NPO spokesperson says it is too early to look at Klein’s role. “It’s not part of the investigation now, our focus is first on the employees, and on what happened.”

Not fitting

In a statement, the NTR calls it inappropriate to include a festive quiz today, after the dynamics created by the publication of the Volkskrant article. According to the NTR, the decision was taken in consultation with Van Nieuwkerk and the NPO.

Two episodes were recorded yesterday, two were canceled today, says NTR. “We are now going to think about how to deal with this unusual situation. This, of course, in consultation with the NPO, which is responsible for the broadcasts.”

It is not clear whether the recordings will take place later. The program is intended to be broadcast next month, in the run-up to the annual Top 2000 of NPO Radio 2 and the Top 2000 a gogo on television.

The NTR says it has not received any reports of transgressive behavior in the programs about the Top 2000. “An article like in the Volkskrant shows that it is important to stay focused.”

‘Regret’ but article also ‘draconian caricature’

More than fifty former employees of DWDD told de Volkskrant their story about transgressive behavior in that program. They said it involved “extreme outbursts of anger and public humiliation”. Dozens of employees fell ill because of the working conditions.

Van Nieuwkerk did not want to speak to the Volkskrant; he also refused to answer written questions. Yesterday he did come up with a statement: “That we apparently were not able to give everyone a safe and pleasant feeling and that it even made colleagues sick, I am very sorry.”

He calls the article in de Volkskrant “a draconian caricature of fifteen years of DWDD”. He further states, “I am now conveniently folded back into an Eternal Tantrum.”

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