Halina Reijn and Carice van Houten decided at the last minute not to appear in the broadcast of the Flemish current affairs section De Afspraak . The actresses did not want to sit at the table with the mayor of Aalst, who was also invited to the program.
Phara de Aguirre, the presenter of De Afspraak , announced this via Twitter.
No Halina Reijn and Carice Van Houten as previously announced. Reijn is married to a Jewish man and does not want to sit at the table with the mayor of Aalst. https://t.co/p94Kn6bLdyAvatar
Christoph d'Haese, the mayor of Aalst, came in the news on Sunday because he announced that he wanted to remove the Aalst carnival from the UNESCO World Heritage List. The carnival was discredited after a float with Jewish caricatures in the parade last year.
Unesco called those Jewish caricatures disrespectful and contrary to the spirit of the intangible heritage. Reportedly, it would be considered whether the Aalst tradition is being removed from the World Heritage list. D'Haese then decided to do that himself, in protest at the criticism.
"We have had it with those reproaches," said Mayor Christoph D'Haese van Aalst. "We are not anti-Semites or racists. Anyone who continues to claim that is in bad faith."
Reijn would therefore have called D'Haese 'an anti-Semite'. At the last minute, she and Carice van Houten refused to appear with the mayor of Aalst in the broadcast.
Reijn has been with Jewish football analyst Daniël de Ridder for three years. De Ridder told NRC in an interview last weekend about the racist chants and swearing he experienced while playing soccer at Ajax.