Why does YLE air a racist movie like Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

A tweet by @Mastersson alerted me Tuesday about a comedy called Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä (Pekka and Pätkä as n-words), were the duo  blackface themselves.  While this may have been “normal” in 1960 when the film was made, one wonders why the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) aired this movie Monday afternoon? 

Näyttökuva 2014-7-1 kello 13.59.59
Pekka and Pätkä as blackface performers Neekereinä. WARNING: The link to the video contains racist language that some may find offensive.

Moreover, there is a consensus in Finland these days that the term neekeri is considered racist and insulting to blacks.

The only ones using the term neekeri today in Finland are normally hard-core racists.

At Finnish elementary schools not too long ago children were taught that the letter n stands for the n-word.

Since we know that children like to watch television during their summer holiday, how many watched Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä Monday afternoon?  Since we know that racism is learned at home and at school, did the movie dispel or strengthen their views of blacks?

I would stick my neck out and claim that every movie depicting blacks and other minorities like Amerindians back in Pekka’s and Pätkä’s days were racist. Another movie that the comedians starred in 1957, Ketjukolari (Pileup)is so racist that I wouldn’t publish it on this blog.

What does it show? Cannibal blackfaces that show disrespect to Africans by portraying them as buffoons. In the same movie, there are Amerindians portrayed as “primitives” in the most stereotypical manner. There’s a lot of sexism in the film as well.

I’m going to write an email to YLE and express my outrage that this movie was aired on public Finnish television.  I invite you to do the same.








  1. intternetnetsi

    Since when “n-word” is negro? I thought it was nigger.
    And have you seen that movie? Its about how place wanted negroes to perform and they did their best to get that job.
    Only racism i can find is that place wanted negroes and didnt accept white.

  2. intternetnetsi

    “The only ones using the term neekeri today in Finland are normally hard-core racists.”

    Or my granma who talked how nice “finnish negro woman” she met in train.

    Of course she was racist, nationalistic and sovinist. She should have said “person”.

  3. Yossie

    So what was racist about the movie exactly? Because they said neekeri back when it wasn’t considered to be a slur? Because they blackfaced themselves similarly to the oldest jokes in comedies: dressing up as something else with aims to make money?

    Really, tell us what is so racist about the movie

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Yossie, using “neekeri” today is offensive and racist. Being a blackface is racist as well.

      With your reasoning, another one of their movies, Ketjukolari, isn’t racist at all because “whites are only making fun of blacks.”

    • Yossie

      “using “neekeri” today is offensive and racist”

      Now it is, back then it wasn’t. They are not using it as a slur in the movie either so I don’t see a problem as people know its an old movie.

      “Being a blackface is racist as well”

      How is it racist? Its a classic set up that the main acts dress as womens and end up in amusing situations because of it. I see this is a similar thing with a twist to it.

      “whites are only making fun of blacks.”

      First of all, if anything, these movies are making fun of whites. Or do you think the other characters are flattering portrayal of finns?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Who says it wasn’t, Yossie? You mean that black Finns and people were pretty passive back then.

      About blackface being racist, check out this website: http://black-face.com/

    • Yossie

      “Who says it wasn’t”

      Is the world used in offensive way then? Would you think its an offensive word if you didn’t know it was offensive?

      “About blackface being racist, check out this website”

      So the movie is racist because some whites in US blackfaced themselves to make fun of black stereotypes? How about you make your conclusions on what actually happens in the movie and not what happent in somewhere else. Point out something they do in the movie that is racist!