Bear with me while I explain our TV system. Commercial TV was only introduced in the early 90′s, and only through a U-turn construct where legally, the network was based in Luxembourg. Airtime on the three public networks is divided over operators who need a minimum number of members. on the public PBS like networks, there have always been like like 3-4 relatively large operators, spread over the cultural/political spectrum, and about the same number of niche players, getting considerably less airtime. While there is not much direct interference with what the operators decide to broadcast, there are formal (and informal) rules about classification, certain types that cannot be broadcasted before say 8PM, etc etc.

Skip back 40 years, 1967. Progressive niche player VPRO started “Hoepla” (Hoopla), an absurd, incoherent show, but mind you, Jimi Hendrix even performed in it. Model Phil Bloom was asked to walk through the studio, but when the moment was there, in an adolescent mood, they all decide to let her walk naked, with only some flowers that she “accidentally” drops. No breasts, no pubic hair, but first time ever nakedness on Dutch public TV. It cost the VPRO 67 members. In the next episode, she is shown while reading aloud a fake newspaper article of the “incident”, then handing over the paper to a co-presenter and lo and behold, her naked breasts are shown.

Phil Boom

This time, Hoepla made it into parliament, to the delight of the makers. And it got it’s moment of world glory: In the US and Germany, fragments were shown (but of course not the ones with Phil naked). ‘Such a fuss as a blonde goes on tv in the nude’ wrote Daily Mirror and ‘Where had all the flowers gone?’. Ladies and gentlemen, history is staring you in the face.