About fifty days of school after rapper and actor Bilal Wahib manipulated a twelve-year-old boy into showing his genitals in a live session on Instagram, Wahib (22) guest in On 1. The first question that presenter Tijs van den Brink asked him on Friday evening was the right one: “How is the victim?” Unfortunately, it would later turn out that that question had not been asked at another important moment.
Something had already gone wrong beforehand. RTL Boulevard reported that another On 1-guest Friday was canceled at the request of Wahib management. That’s an issue related to a longstanding feud within the Moszkowicz family that I’m not going to explain here – you’re just looking at the drama series in ten years M & M on Videoland. In general, I think that if guest A does not want to sit at the table with guest B, then guest A can join in himself.
Back to the guest who was there on Friday. Wahib apologized profusely for his misstep and said he had spoken to the child’s parents. “He still suffers from it.” Reporter Saskia Belleman van The Telegraph wanted to know if, as she’d heard, Wahib had paid the boy $17,000. “I can’t say anything about that,” replied the actor. “We’ve come to something.” That sounded like a reference to a legal reality – which is often bad news for human reality.
Van den Brink and co-presenter Giovanca Ostiana questioned Wahib rigorously. His account of the offending live session was that he was completely surprised by the fact that the boy actually took off his clothes. The joke he pulled, or wanted to pull, is old and runs from “Can you show your dick?” to “You have not shown your penis, because your penis has no eyes” and has even been registered as cultural heritage by the Meertens Institute.
Wahib did not put things into perspective or complain about the harsh sanctions of his employers. These appeared to be mainly driven by the legal situation (suspicion of child pornography). “That mistake was a mistake. I’m not going to discuss that.” You can ask yourself whether it is wise that he had interrupted a process with a psychologist after one conversation because it was ‘not chill’.
The most explosive question came from Belleman, who wanted to know what the victim thought about Wahib being on a talk show. That was a question with a history, because three months ago Wahib said a performance at Beau at the eleventh hour because the family had objected. Wahib replied that it was all right now. “I can sit here.” Belleman, a reporter in every fiber, had called the family’s lawyer: “He says something completely different.” Wahib could do nothing but invoke a legal reality. “We have a contract. It is literally in there.”
That legal reality of contracts and clauses, should it be the guiding principle here? For Wahib? And above all: for the leadership of On 1? Because why didn’t he call the victim’s representatives himself? After the broadcast, competitor RTL announced that that channel had now rejected an interview with Wahib due to objections from the family.
“The well-being of this boy comes first,” said Beau van Erven Dorens in March when RTL had repented an hour before the broadcast. Three months later, the ethics of the public On 1 crumbled. That ice coldly chose the commercial interest and seized the legal opportunity to ignore the wishes of a twelve-year-old victim.