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The Spice Girls called out Dutch TV show in 1997 for presenting characters in blackface

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Stop doing blackface right now, thank you very much.

The Spice Girls - known for their girl power and sass - aren't ones to keep quiet when they see something they don't agree with.

This week, a 20 year old clip resurfaced of the Spice Girls where they call out a Dutch TV host for defending blackface. 

 

The show begins with Paul De Leeuw  - the host -  bringing fans on stage to ask the Spice Girls questions, but things start to go wrong when De Leeuw introduces "Zwarte Piet", the Dutch name for "Black Pete", a companion to Santa Claus.

The Spice Girls - especially Mel B - were not having any of it.

The group protests them coming on stage, shouting:

We don't like that!

Scary Spice gives a particularly good side-eye and then explains to the host why blackface is offensive, telling the host:

I think they shouldn’t paint their faces. You should get proper black people to do it.

Leeuw attempts to tell the band it's cultural tradition, to which she hits back with:

time to change it, this is the 90s.

Mel B is then seen making a 'cut' sign, indicating she wants the interview to end as Geri chimes in saying "update your culture". 

Fans of the Spice Girls have taken to Twitter praising them and expressing concern on the lack of progress in the 20 years.

 

 

The Dutch General election is approaching in three days, and Geert Wilders the openly anti-Islam candidate in the running, racial tensions have been brought to light in the Netherlands recently. 

Thankfully, Paul De Leeuw has updated his attitude since the show was on.

In a 2014 interview he said blackface had "no place" in Dutch culture and he changed his views after seeing Academy Award winning film 12 Years a Slave.

There's been an attempt to clean up Dutch culture too - Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, have all adopted 'alternative' versions of Black Pete and many schools have opted for a less racially charged version of the character. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the memo.

Last year a Scottish UKIP candidate posed in a blackface and clown wig, Snapchat sparked outrage after launching a Bob Marley blackface filter, Amazon sold a blackface costume for Halloween and students at Kansas State and UCLA were suspended or expelled for using blackface.


More: Leave EU is using 20-year-old Spice Girls quotes for its campaign

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