Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande depicted as Hitler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Militants forced from north eastern Nigerian town

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

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)