Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Trump at NATO: What future for the Atlantic Alliance? (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump at NATO: What future for the Atlantic Alliance? (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

Life after IS group: Young Iraqis learn to live together in Kirkuk

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Robert Pattinson stars in Safdie brothers heist 'Good Time'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Trump on 'learning curve' but poll numbers 'will go up'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Is Venezuela on the verge of anarchy?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Donald Trump meets Emmanuel Macron: Can they get on?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Manchester bomber 'fits profile of other terrorists'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

OPEC looks set to extend production cut

Read more

France

France may ban French comic’s show for ‘anti-Semitism’

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-28

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced on Friday that he would try to legally ban performances by French comic and actor Dieudonné, who has frequently been accused of anti-Semitism.

Dieudonné is best known for televised sketch comedy and a one-man show in Paris, in which he professes staunch anti-Israel views that many say amount to hate speech. He has also downplayed the significance of the Holocaust, calling commemorations “memorial pornography”.

“Despite a conviction for public defamation, hate speech and racial discrimination, Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala no longer seems to recognise any limits,” a statement released by Valls read. “Consequently, the interior minister has decided to thoroughly examine all legal options that would allow a ban on Dieudonné’s public gatherings, which no longer belong to the artistic domain, but rather amount to a public safety risk.”

‘Time to silence him’

Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF, the main French Jewish lobby, applauded the decision in an interview with French television channel i>TELE.

“It’s a step in the right direction, because if we continue letting him do as he pleases, violence could result,” he said. “It’s time to silence him. He’s no longer a comic; he has become a peddler of hate.”

The latest controversy surrounding Dieudonné began when footage captured by a hidden camera planted in his theatre was broadcast on French television channel France 2 in mid-December.

Performing onstage, Dieudonné said about prominent French Jewish radio journalist Patrick Cohen: “Me, you see, when I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: ‘Gas chambers…too bad [they no longer exist].”

Radio France, Cohen’s employer, announced on December 20 that it had alerted authorities that Dieudonné had engaged in “openly anti-Semitic speech”, and various French anti-racism watchdog groups filed complaints.

Friends on the far right

Dieudonné is also behind a hand gesture known as the “quenelle” – described as a sort of downward-pointing Nazi salute – that has become popular among some young people in France.

The French-born son of a Cameroonian father and a white French mother, the 47-year-old Dieudonné has a diverse legion of followers, though his main fans tend to be young French people who espouse “anti-system” views.

But the comic has also found support on the far-right political fringe; he counts Jean-Marie Le Pen, former leader of the far-right National Front party, as a close friend and has regularly invited well-known Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson onstage during his shows.
 

Date created : 2013-12-27

  • FRANCE

    French unemployment up 0.5% in November

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Theatre director rams Elysée Palace gate in protest at subsidy cuts

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    French mother says jihadist ex threatens to take toddler to Syria

    Read more

COMMENT(S)