The Culture Council calls the ‘Voice’ scandal the tip of the iceberg. “The cultural sector is more vulnerable to cross-border behavior”

The report Across the border, towards a common culture It is clear that the Cultural Council on Tuesday offered State Secretary Gunay Uslu for culture and media: “Many prefer to connect art and culture with beauty. But the council also wants to highlight the ugly sides of our culture and media system. ”

By cross-border behavior, the council understands: sexual intimidation and abuse, bullying, racism, sexism, discrimination and other forms of unwanted behavior.

According to the council, talent in the cultural sector is more vulnerable compared to other sectors. There is often a selection from a wide range of makers, while there are only a limited number of play and show venues. Casting directors, curators, teachers and artistic directors act as gatekeepers, leading to unequal power relations. At least if they act consciously or unconsciously on the basis of prejudices and stereotypes. There is also often physical contact at work.

Three pieces of advice to Secretary of State Uslu


Winnie Sorgdrager, chairman of the committee that has prepared the advice from the Cultural Council.Picture Brunopress

Winnie Sorgdrager, chair of the committee that drafted the council recommendation, has three recommendations for Uslu: Set up a knowledge center that maps the problems (which they have done for some time in countries around us), make sure a central complaints committee is set up and funded the existing Mores hotline.

At that reporting point, for cross-border behavior in the culture and media sector, three times as many reports were received in six months this year as the average in previous years, says Sorgdrager. Based on the conversations she had in the sector, she noted that many places are being crossed many boundaries. “Because there’s more talk about it, the threshold for reporting is somewhat lower.”

The central and independent complaints committee advocated by the Council applies to the whole sector, including theater and art courses. “So it’s clear to everyone where you can go if your own organization is not helping you. The committee must then examine the complaint and draw a conclusion. This does not have to have immediate legal consequences, but it can. If the committee finds the complaint well-founded, the institution where the incident took place must do something about it. ”

Lessons from The Voice

According to Sorgdrager, the revelations are about The voice everyone learned a lot. “In such programs, one must therefore deal with extremely unequal and risky power relations. All attention should be paid to it.

“And one should not say to the victims: submit a report, otherwise we can do nothing. You put them in a position where they should feel guilty. The point is that it does not happen and that it is discussed, and a report does not always have to lead to a review. ”

The Council also concludes that, unfortunately, there is “diversity fatigue” in some sub-sectors. Sorgdrager: “What again opened my eyes through this research was that we as a cultural elite looked at art and culture with a Eurocentric gaze.

“Even when it came to providing grants: what is good, what is better, what is excellent? Art made by people from a different background was always nice to have, it was not appreciated. We have to change that, as our entire population changes. ”

A forty year old case

Grief Dragon says she has never experienced anything bad, borderline. However, she was involved in a case as director about forty years ago.

“I was chairman of a music school when there were complaints from parents about a teacher. It was on the girls. We have conditionally fired him as a board member: he was no longer allowed to teach at home, no longer for girls and work alone at school in a room with a glass door.

“We thought it was a pretty adequate answer at the time, but in hindsight I think: we should have suspended him and summoned a third party. Then more would have appeared. I know those women are still bothered by what happened then. ”

Also read:

Who dares to stand up to a leader of The Voice? ‘They can create or break your music career’

Was there a ‘cover up’ at The voice of the Netherlands† Men in power can continue for a long time, according to other #MeToo cases. Sexually transgressive behavior is often tolerated, covertly, or trivialized. Even by the victims themselves.

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