Following the example of Bol.com and Coolblue, Amazon will no longer sell products featuring blackface Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet, or use te term “Zwarte Piet” in the texts about products on its platform, a spokesperson for the American web store confirmed to AD after reports in Financieele Dagblad.
Bol.com, the largest online store in the Benelux, announced last week that the company will no longer be associated with the blackface figure. A short time later, Coolblue announced that it agreed with this decision. On a post by a Bol.com customer who angrily said that it was switching to Coolblue, the online store responded: “Nice that you are ordering from us. But we would like to add that we more than agree with our competitors.”
Amazon, which expanded its range in the Netherlands to more than just books in March and had a reach of 4.3 million in April, did not give an explicit reason for banning Zwarte Piet. The spokesperson referred AD to the site’s sales guidelines, which all sellers must adhere to. Those terms state that incitement to hatred, violence, and racial, sexual or religious intolerance is prohibited. Sellers who do not adhere to these terms will face measures, such as having their account blocked. “We have removed the affected products,” the spokesperson said.
Now that Amazon also banned Zwarte Piet from its range, it seems that the only choice for people who still want to buy Zwarte Piet stuff is carnival stores and smaller retailers.