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Johan Derksen does not apologize for candle incident

Photo: ANP

Johan Derksen offers no apologies for the ‘candle story’ that he previously told Today Inside. In the first broadcast since the program went off the air, Derksen said that he will not say “sorry”, but that it was not his intention to hurt “people who have been really affected by sexual violence”.

In the earlier broadcast of the program, Derksen said that half a century earlier he had penetrated a drunk and unconscious woman with a candle. In the broadcast he called it a “youth sin”. He later weakened his story, saying that there had been no penetration. Derksen, Wilfred Genee and René van der Gijp decided to stop the program after a few days of great commotion.

According to Derksen, people at talk show tables have demanded that he apologize. However, the presenter stated that he has “already distanced himself” from his story in the broadcast. He held up his middle finger at the camera, a gesture addressed to “all the people on talk shows saying” that he should apologize.

Derksen also said in the broadcast that he spoke with State Secretary Gunay Uslu of Culture and Media about the ‘candle incident’ and the commotion about it. It was “a very pleasant conversation”, according to Derksen. “Mrs. Uslu has stolen my heart,” he said. “We have agreed, we will not blow the whistle on the conversation.”

The analyst said he had never been as busy as after the offending broadcast. The day before the conversation with Uslu, he made an appointment with Talpa boss John de Mol and he also had a conversation with the vice squad in Groningen, according to Derksen. There he was told that the case is “barred”. Finally, he said about the ongoing investigation that an official report has been drawn up. “They have heard my story”, and now it is decided what to do with it.

A group of demonstrators gathered on Monday evening in front of the studio where Today Inside is being recorded, at the media park in Hilversum. They protested the return of the program to television. People carried signs and banners with texts such as ‘Rape culture inside’, ‘No platform for rape culture’, ‘Put that candle in your own ass’ and ‘No buhne for racism sexism’.

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