August 22, 2014
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The top-selling Dutch newspaper has apologized for a story on its website that linked the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela with a controversial black-face character in the traditional Dutch celebration of Sinterklaas.
In the opening sentence of an article collating reactions to Mandela's death, De Telegraaf said Friday that Mandela "died on the very night of St. Nicholas and Black Pete."
Black Pete is the helper of Saint Nicholas, known in the Netherlands as Sinterklaas, who brings children gifts on Dec. 5. Black Pete traditionally is portrayed by people in black-face makeup.
The character has been the focus of a fierce debate in the Netherlands recently between fans of the Sinterklaas tradition and opponents who call Black Pete a racist throwback.
The Telegraaf blamed the "tasteless link" on "an unfortunate convergence of circumstances."
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.