Presenter Matthijs Van Nieuwkerk “sowed fear for years” with ‘The world continues to turn’: “The devil seemed to crawl into him”

© DWDD

For years, the Dutch presenter Matthijs Van Nieuwkerk created a culture of fear in the editors of his program De Wereld Draait Door. Dozens of former employees testify to this in De Volkskrant.

John Claeys

Van Nieuwkerk was for many years the king of Dutch talk shows. Since 2008 he presented ‘The world continues to turn’, abbreviated DWDD. Due to its own style, the program became a ratings gun. And he became the highest paid presenter in the Netherlands. In 2015 he would have received a salary of 580,000 euros gross. After his farewell in 2020, he presented Popquiz on VTM with us.

Two years after the last episode, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant published a damning file about the presenter. He would have created a culture of fear in his editorial office for years. Dozens of former employees of the NPO talk show testify to De Volkskrant about his style. According to them, they were yelled at, humiliated and intimidated from centimeters away. It would have led to burnouts and other complaints. Repeated complaints would have been repeatedly submitted to the Dutch public broadcaster BNNVARA, but no action would have been taken.

Of the seventy employees the newspaper spoke to, fifty stated that there was structurally transgressive behaviour. There are dozens of incidents. “It was as if the devil got inside him,” an editor describes.

Van Nieuwkerk has since responded to the accusations. “I am very sorry that we were not able to give everyone a safe and pleasant feeling and that it even made colleagues sick,” he says. “Now we have a number of uncomfortable done things. Unfortunately, they don’t take time, but they do make you think. This mirror will hang in my room.”

Van Nieuwkerk has previously been in the news negatively. In June, De Telegraaf already came up with a story from an employee who talked about “monstrous behavior”. The public broadcaster then said that the operation of the editorial staff was a constant point of attention.

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