YLE airs in September two of the most racist movies by Finnish commedians Pekka ja Pätkä

by , under Enrique Tessieri

I read with surprise from Anna Pöysä’s Mafalala blog that YLE will air on Wednesday Pekka ja Pätkä nekereinä (1960), which is a racist movie with blackface actors. That was one big surprise but the biggest one of them all happened on September 6 when Pekka ja Pätkä acted in their most racist movie ever, Ketjukolari (1957).

Ketjukolari was taken down by YouTube apparently because of its racist content. Even if the movie is in Finnish, the stereotypical images of human-eating Africans, which look like characters taken straight from a 1950s racist Tarzan cartoon, leave no doubt about the movie’s content.

Amerindians in the movie are also pictured in a racist and demeaning manner.

Most Finns have learned that the use of the n-word neekeri is racist. Why, then, will YLE air tomorrow a racist movie that uses blackfaces and the n-word in its title?

Are these two movies and example of how YLE serves our ever-growing culturally diverse community?

In June, a parliamentary working group that looked at the future role of the broadcaster decided to do away with the term “multicultural” and replaced it with “cultural diversity.” The phrase that was eliminated was YLE “support[s] tolerance and multiculturalism.”

One matter that the member of that parliamentary working group didn’t appear to understand is that a good synonym for multiculturalism is cultural diversity.

Two of the most racist movies by Finnish comedians Pekka ja Pätkä are aired on YLE.

Here is a racist scene from the movie Ketjukolari.

Sorry folks, arguing that these movies are ok because they are part of Finnish culture is preposterous. They are examples of Finnish racism.

Migrant Tales will send a new email to YLE about the airing of these two racist movies.

Below, is the one we sent on July 1, 2014.

We never got a reply from YLE.

Tässä sähköposti:

Kiitos yhteydenotosta ja palautteesta.

Viestinne on kirjattu palauteraporttiimme, josta se on Ylen ohjelmista vastaavien luettavissa.

Ystävällisin terveisin
Yle Ohjelmapalaute Tiina

Tiesitkö tämän Ylestä?

From:   “Enrique Tessieri” <[email protected]>
To:     [email protected],
Date:   01.07.2014 14:58
Subject:        Palautetta Ylen nettisivuilta
Sent by:        [email protected]

Submitted on Ti, 01.07.2014, klo 14:58
Submitted by user:
Submitted values are:

Vastaanottaja: Radio- ja tv-ohjelmat


Miten on mahdollista, että voitte näyttää televisiossa rasistisen elokuvan kuten “Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä?” Uskon, että suuri osaa suomalaisista tietävät, että sanaa neekeri on loukkaava. Eikö tämmöiset loukkaavat vahvistavat ennakkoluuloja ja suvaitsemattomuutta? Mitä se vahvista lapsissa, jotka saattoivat katsoa kyseinen elokuvan maanantina.


Enrique Tessieri

Tässä vähän aiheesta: http://wp.me/p2rIYQ-7b5
Nimi: Enrique Tessieri
Sähköpostiosoite: [email protected]


  1. Joonas

    Even though I agree “neekeri” is a racist word nowadays, it wasn’t back then. It is not “part of Finnish culture”, but it is definately part of Finnish movie history. “Pekka ja Pätkä” was a huge film series back then (I think they made 13 movies altogether) and wouldn’t it be strange to leave two parts out of the movies series? Should we act like these movies didn’t exists? I think it is good way to show (movie) history and how we have developed since then.

    Disney and many other movies had similar kind of racist themes back then and these movies are no different. I actually haven’t seen these movies, but for my understanding they are just using stereotypes and blackface actors which were quite common during that movie era.

    • Migrant Tales

      There are some 31,000 people – and growing- who are people of African descent and/or Afro Finns. I would like to hear their views about these movies. Sorry, Joonas, but I think it is in bad taste and racist to air movies that don’t do anything but reinforce racist views about our black community.

    • D4R

      Joonas, i myself am black and i am very offended by this movie. This movies is very harmful to colored kids living in Finland. It has negative stereotypes about africans. In USA they used to make fun of black people by wearing black faces and in some fovies just to amuse white people and white people used to laugh at black people because they saw them as lesser human almost comparable to apes. Joonas, your justification for this movies is very weak because you say it was something in the past, well in the past we humans were ignorant about many things, racism used to be normal part of life among white people. We shouldnt go back to ignorant times so more people can be harmed, we should wise up and occrect our behaviour. When i was a child in Finnish school, Finnish kids were mocking me and making fun of my appearances, i wonder where did they get those ideas to mock me. I dont want any other colored kid to go through what i went through. this needs to stop and yle needs to stop showing these hrmful movies. Some kids will me picked on at school because of the image media is feeding to kinds and teenagers.

  2. Joonas

    I understand why some people might find it offensive (and it is nowadays), but I don’t agree not showing them. I believe people are smart enough to understand that this was in the past and see how much things have changed back then. Even it is bad part of the (movie) history, it is still important to show how things were back then.

    There are many things we hope would have not happened in the past (civil war etc.), but we should learn from them, not the pretent it didn’t happened.

  3. PS voter

    D4R, are you talking about the movie “Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä” or “Ketjukolari”. If you are talking about “Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä”, what exactly was so bad about it?

    I am not sure if I have seen either of them, but at least the descriptions I have see about “Pekka ja Pätkä neekereinä”, don’t seem to be that bad towards black people. I think there isn’t any black people on the film and movie seems to make fun mostly about the fact that two Finnish men get more respect when other people mistakenly think that they are black instead of white. Night club owner is excited to have more international atmosphere and women are excited to see foreign men.

    If anything, the movie makes fun about persons who think that skin color or being foreigner makes persons more interesting or better than what he would be otherwise. This is a phenomenon that still seems to be true to some extent. Being international or multicultural for just for the sake of being international or multicultural, is a strange and embarrassing cult. Same is true when some persons is put to a pedestal because of skin color, religion or cultural background when this persons would not be treated in similar manner with his accomplishments or lack of them, if he had some other background.

    And I don’t think we should be that hysterical about all kind of stereotypes, but be more daring to play with them. We shouldn’t stop showing traditional stereotypes, but we should also break and even turn upside down these stereotypes.

    I think social justice warriors do disservice both to their cause and rest of the society by being too narrow-minded and hostile to others who don’t share exactly the same viewpoint. Being hostile to other persons who haven’t really meant to be hostile, is only likely to upset these people and not get sympathy for the cause these SJWs are trying to advocate.

    Good examples of counterproductive hostility is this Black Lives Matter movement (*) in the current form (it is too hostile, promotes violence and is even racist towards whites), getting upset if a white person has dreadlocks or paints face black in order to play a black person. This whole movement about getting upset about some “cultural appropriation” is just another excuse to cause more tensions and hostility between different groups of people.

    *) Even the foundation of the BLM movement is probably based on a lie. Studies don’t support the claim that African-Americans are shot more often in similar situations. In fact, whites have higher risk of getting shot. Having said that, I am sure that in some cases, policemen in USA are too trigger happy. And I think there may be some other kind of racism by police.

  4. PS voter

    In Ketjukolari, it seems that the part of being in the Africa and being prepared to be eaten by cannibals, is just one of the hallucinations they have while they have hit their heads. Having said that, cannibalism is real phenomenon which unfortunately still exists in some parts of world, like in parts of Africa and we should not stop speaking about awful things that have happened or are still happening in the world, like cannibalism or slavery. I would argue that we should talk more about these horrible things in order to do more to stop them. Surely the victims deserve not be forgotten just in order for us to feel better.

  5. PS voter

    BTW, I would still like to meet you some day, D4R. I am pretty sure we would have much interesting things to discuss. I hope that some day, you will accept my offer.

  6. PS voter

    As Donald Trump said, what do you have to lose? And while it might be a bit too optimistic to say that 95 percent of African Americans in USA will support him after he has been one term as the president, it is nice to see so many African Americans already support him. Even the brother of president Obama supports Trump.