Belgian broadcaster VRT has apologized for using a Holocaust movie to ridicule locals complaining about food shortages – reportedly caused by the conflict in Ukraine – after Jewish groups complained. The Flemish-language network had used a concentration camp scene from ‘Schindler’s List’ to satirize media reports about a popular cookie being out of stock.
“Humor and satire should be allowed in our programming but it must never be the intention to hurt the feelings of others or laugh at their suffering,” VRT said in a statement on Monday evening. “We recognize that this did happen here, we wish to express our heartfelt apologies.”
It also promised to remove the video from its YouTube channel. The segment reportedly aired on April 7 as part of an evening show called ‘The Ideal World.’ It shows a scene from Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Holocaust drama, in which a Jewish concentration camp prisoner was dubbed to complain how someone being taken to the gas chambers took “the last family pack of Cent Wafers.”
Cent Wafers, the traditional Belgian cookies filled with chocolate cream, have reportedly been in short supply in recent weeks. Some of the Belgian media has attributed the shortage to the conflict in Ukraine, a major wheat exporter to the EU – along with Russia, which Brussels has embargoed. VRT sought to mock those reports, but ran into backlash from activists and a Jewish lawmaker.