Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Surveying the 'Brexsh*t'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Pound plunges on Brexit uncertainty

Read more

THE DEBATE

Brexit revolt: Can Theresa May weather the storm?

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Michelle Obama: From Chicago's south side to the White House

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

France's love/hate relationship with Beaujolais nouveau

Read more

ENCORE!

David LaChapelle: 'Celebrity is replacing religion in these times of turmoil'

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

'Photography is part of our daily lives and we want to reflect that'

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Homophobic attacks on the rise in France

Read more

IN THE PRESS

We're in the Brexs*it! Tabloids react to Theresa May's Brexit plans

Read more

France

French MP seeks ban on 'glottophobia' after Mélanchon mocks journalist's accent

© Bertrand Guay, AFP | The far-left French politician speaks to supporters in Paris on April 23, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-10-19

A French member of parliament has proposed that mockery of accents be outlawed, after an irate politician derided a journalist's southwestern pronunciation before asking if anyone had a question in "understandable French".

Laetitia Avia of President Emmanuel Macron's ruling party said she was proposing a bill that would classify such mockery with other forms of prohibited discrimination such as on grounds of sex or race.

She did so after a journalist from Toulouse in southwest France asked former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon about an anti-corruption investigation of his hard-left political party.

In an exchange widely relayed on media and social networks, Mélenchon mimicked the journalist's accent and told her she was "talking nonsense" before turning away and saying: "Has anyone got a question in more or less comprehensible French?"

Melenchon mocks journalist's accent

The law Avia proposes would proscribe discrimination based on pronunciation, whether standardised or from a specific region of France, or from one of the countries of origin of the many people of African descent in France.

"Do you speak poorer French if you have an accent? Do people have to endure humiliation if their pronunciation is not of the standardised kind," she said in a message on Twitter.

She said she was proposing the legislation along with other members of the ruling party, Macron's La Republique en Marche.

"Glottophobia", a word recently coined by a French linguist to describe discrimination based on pronunciation and tone, needed to discouraged by law, she said.

Mélenchon, who has a reputation as a talented if tempestuous orator, was knocked out in the first round of the election that swept Macron to power in May 2017.

Justice officials are looking into allegations of irregular financing of his party and eleection campaign. This week they said he was also being investigated for intimidation of magistrates and police officers after an anti-corruption officer was jostled at his party headquarters.

Avia did not specifically say her bill was in reaction to Mélenchon's comments but she relayed TV footage of the accent-mocking exchange on her Twitter account shortly after it took place on Oct. 17.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-10-19

  • FRANCE

    French leftist leader Mélenchon questioned over EU 'fake jobs' claims

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    ‘I’m the Republic!’ French leftist leader under fire for violent outburst

    Read more

  • IN THE FRENCH PRESS

    A lingual turn-on: French accent voted sexiest of all

    Read more

COMMENT(S)