The Volkskrant rang the bell on Friday: dozens of former employees testified in a devastating exposé that Matthijs van Nieuwkerk created a culture of fear in the editors of the talk show for years 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.
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Van Nieuwkerk, for a long time the most iconic and best-paid presenter of public broadcasting and known in our country for Pop quiz, apologized Friday. “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 at the time. “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.”
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However, broadcaster BNNVara, where Van Nieuwkerk still presents various programs, doubted the sincerity of those apologies: the Volkskrant described in an article on Monday how they came about, and it shows that the man was initially a lot less guilty. Only in a third version – and after BNNVara threatened to publicly distance herself from Van Nieuwkerk – did the presenter show more remorse and came to the above apologies.
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The broadcaster therefore wanted to consult with Van Nieuwkerk, but it did not come to that: the presenter announced on Monday afternoon that he would give up himself. “The fact that my employer openly doubts my sincerity makes further cooperation impossible,” it sounds. “I notice that there are many emotions fighting for priority: shame for the fear that editors have felt, regret that I had – literally – blind ambition and therefore crossed boundaries, sadness about that The world goes onafter all, my life’s work, is wavering.”
Van Nieuwkerk says he will use the coming period “to come to his senses”. “After that I hope to let you hear from me again”, it sounds.