Matthijs van Nieuwkerk
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Matthijs van Nieuwkerk © Hollandse Hoogte / Clemens Rikken

The Dutch broadcaster BNNVara doubts the sincerity of the apologies offered by Matthijs van Nieuwkerk after the publication of testimonials of transgressive behavior by the presenter of the talk show ‘The world is spinning’. That writes the Volkskrantwho reports that the cooperation between the broadcaster and Van Nieuwkerk is hanging by a thread.

jvhSource: The Volkskrant

It was the Volkskrant who rang the bell on Friday: dozens of ex-employees testified in a damning exposé that Van Nieuwkerk created a culture of fear in the editors of The world goes on, where employees were “shouted at, humiliated and intimidated” from inches away. “It was like the devil got inside him,” one editor describes it.

Van Nieuwkerk responded to the allegations in a written statement. “I am very sorry that we were apparently not able to give everyone a safe and pleasant feeling and that it even made colleagues sick,” it sounded on Friday. “Now we are faced with a number of uncomfortable things done. Unfortunately, they don’t take time, but they do make you think. This mirror will hang in my room.”

Three versions

However, broadcaster BNNVara doubts the sincerity of those apologies. The Volkskrant describes on Monday how they came about, and it shows that Van Nieuwkerk was initially a lot less guilty. For example, in a first version of an apology he delivered to the newspaper, the presenter lashed out at two former colleagues. “We did not think this was appropriate, because it should – and should – be a public and personal expression of regret,” said the broadcaster. “We then indicated that it is essential for us that he acknowledges to employees that he has crossed boundaries.”

Nevertheless, Van Nieuwkerk stuck to his original statement in a second version of apology. In this he also went according to the Volkskrant “didn’t respond to the dozens of people who became ill from the transgressive behavior and he showed little self-reflection. He did lash out at two former colleagues and wrote that he heard many brooms sweeping streets clean.”

Only in a third version – after consultation with BNNVara, which threatened to publicly distance itself from Van Nieuwkerk – did the presenter show more remorse and came to the above apologies.


However, the broadcaster doubts the sincerity of Van Nieuwkerk due to the course of events. “We have to question the sincerity of this second statement as it came about after we informed Matthijs van Nieuwkerk that we were disappointed with the first statement,” it says in the statement. Volkskrant.

The broadcaster will therefore soon be meeting with Van Nieuwkerk, who will present various programs there. According to the Volkskrant however, the question is “whether trust has not already been irreparably damaged”.

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