A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: The Holuhraun eruption is at it again
News
Comedian Responds To Criticism, Immigrant Minister Calls Sketch “Degrading”

Comedian Responds To Criticism, Immigrant Minister Calls Sketch “Degrading”

Words by

Published November 14, 2012

Comedian Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon told reporters he never intended to hurt anyone with his Tong Monitor character, while a Japanese-Icelandic minister says his depiction of Asians is “degrading”. The commercial itself may violate Iceland’s existing hate speech laws.
As reported, Pétur has recently filmed a commercial for television station Stöð 2 in which he plays an Asian game show host. His wears make-up designed to pull back the ends of his eyes, and speaks in broken English with a heavily affected generalised “Asian” accent.
The depiction has sparked a great deal of criticism from Icelanders and immigrants alike, who say the depiction is racist.
Pétur has responded to the criticism, speaking on the Reykjavík Siðdegis radio show, saying that it was never his intention to hurt anyone with his depiction.
“I didn’t wake up one morning and decide I was going to make fun of Asians, and hurt as many people as possible,” he said. “That was not the thinking behind this.”
Pétur added, though, that people having different opinions makes life more fun, and he takes the criticism as a learning experience. He does intend, though, to go forward with the commercial.
Toshiki Toma, a Japanese-Icelandic Lutheran minister who works closely with the immigrant community, told DV that he considers Pétur’s Tong Monitor character to be “degrading to all immigrants” in Iceland.
“I was puzzled as to how the media could not see how this commercial is degrading to immigrants,” he said, adding that he wonders what effect it could have on children. “Could they not misunderstand this and believe it’s alright to make fun of immigrants? If you’re going to make jokes about someone, you should direct it at someone who can defend themselves. How are Asian immigrants in Iceland supposed to take this?”
Claudia Overesch, a student who has been active in immigration issues, has pointed out that the commercial might also violate Iceland’s existing hate speech laws. Article 233a of the Icelandic Penal Code states “Anyone who in a ridiculing, slanderous, insulting, threatening or any other manner publicly assaults a person or a group of people on the basis of their nationality, skin colour, race, religion or sexual orientation, shall be fined or jailed for up to 2 years.” The word “assault” in this instance does not mean physical violence, but rather expressions of intolerance, hatred or degradation.
Below you can see the commercial in question:



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Björk’s Biophilia Film To Premiere In Reykjavík This Week

by

Björk’s Biophilia tour went on for almost two years, scoring a huge hit with critics and audiences around the world due to it’s innovative, immersive production. After a long process of trying to fund a definitive concert film of the project, it came right down to the wire, with the final show at London’s cavernous Alexandria Palace becoming the subject of Biophilia Live. BAFTA-award winning editor and filmmaker Nick Fenton, speaking of his experience as co-director, said: “We felt like security guards, in a little booth surrounded by screens and talking to sixteen cameramen and women. You couldn’t feel further

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

VIDEO: Holuhraun Best Place For An Eruption

by

Holuhraun is the best possible location for an eruption, geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson has told RÚV. Although the magma flow from Holuhraun is considerable and steady, Magnús Tumi does not feel it qualifies as a large eruption. New data indicates that approximately 250 cubic metres of magma is spewing out of the fissure each second. According to Magnús Tumi, the current Holuhraun eruption is completely different to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010. Given that the Holuhraun eruption is entirely above ground and a mainly basalt eruption it is producing no disruptive ash. The Eyjafjalljökull eruption on the other hand was

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Holuhraun Still Going Strong, Could Last All Year

by

The Holuhraun eruption, which began again yesterday with magma plumes as high as 60 metres, is going strong and might see out the year, reports RÚV. “The eruption is comparable to the one we saw from Krafla [in 1975],” said volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson. “At first there was just a tiny eruption then the eruptions got gradually larger as time passed. It’s possible that this event will last until the end of the year, possibly into some of next year as well.” Seismic activity continues at Vatnajökull though none topped 4.9 on the Richter scale yesterday, presumably because the eruption has alleviated some

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Fishing Minister Defends Faroese Snub, Other Icelanders Offer Cake

by

The Faroese fishing vessel Næraberg may have been snubbed by authorities, but other Icelanders are helping the beleagured ship in any way they can. RÚV reports that Minister of Fisheries Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson has called the treatment of the Faroese mackerel fishing vessel Næraberg to be based on “a misunderstanding” on why the snub occurred. As reported, the ship, whose engine was badly in need of repair as it departed from Greenland for home, called upon Icelandic authorities to dock and conduct repairs. However, the crew were informed they could dock in Reykjavík Harbour, but would not be permitted to

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Holuhraun Volcano Erupts Again

by

An eruption has commenced at Holuhraun again, replete with magma plumes some 60 metres tall. RÚV reports that an eruption has re-opened at Holuhraun, just north of Vatnjökull, which began in the early morning hours. As can be seen, this is a lava eruption, and plumes of magma are reportedly reaching heights of up to 60 metres. This eruption is at the same location as the one which began last Friday, and continued for a few hours, only this time the eruption is 10 to 20 times bigger, volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson told reporters. The southernmost point of the eruption begins

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Poll Decidedly Grim For Interior Minister, Government

by

A new poll from Fréttablaðið and Stöð 2 shows about two-thirds of respondents want Interior Minister Hanna Banna Kristjánsdóttir to resign, and trust in her – as well as the government in general – is remarkably low. According to the poll, Vísir reports, which asked respondents if they believe Hanna Birna should resign, 67% of those who had an opinion said they believe she should. When the answers are taken as a whole, 21% were undecided, 26% said she should not resign, and 53% said she should resign. Taken by party affiliation, 45% of Independence Party voters (the party from

Show Me More!