One of France's most well-known singers and actresses, Marie Laforêt, will today appear in a Paris courtroom to defend herself against charges that a job advertisement she placed discriminated against Muslims.

"/> One of France's most well-known singers and actresses, Marie Laforêt, will today appear in a Paris courtroom to defend herself against charges that a job advertisement she placed discriminated against Muslims.

" />
SHARE
COPY LINK

MUSLIM

Actress ‘banned Muslim handymen’ over chihuahua worries

One of France's most well-known singers and actresses, Marie Laforêt, will today appear in a Paris courtroom to defend herself against charges that a job advertisement she placed discriminated against Muslims.

Actress 'banned Muslim handymen' over chihuahua worries
Anthony Kelly

72-year-old Laforêt, who first found fame as an actress in the 1960s, placed an ad on an internet site looking for someone to carry out some work on her terrace in 2009, reported daily newspaper Le Parisien on Thursday.

She specified in the ad that “people with allergies or orthodox Muslims” should not apply “due to a small chihuahua.”

Laforêt claimed that she made the stipulation because she believed the Muslim faith saw dogs as unclean.

The case was taken up by anti-discrimination organization Mrap, which lodged a complaint against the internet site which ran the ad.

“To think that Marie Laforêt is racist is just stupid,” said her lawyer, David Koubbi, according to the newspaper. He said the words in the advertisement were only a “warning.”

Koubbi added that the star “has always shown her interest and admiration for the Muslim faith.”

“She knew that the presence of a religion could conflict with the religious convictions of orthodox Muslims. It was a sign of respect.”

Experts in the Muslim faith were quoted as rejecting the defence.

“Dogs are not considered unclean and it’s false to suggest otherwise,” said one quoted by the newspaper. 

twitter.com/matthew_warren

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COURT

French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts

A French court has ordered Twitter to give activists full access to all its documents relating to efforts to combat racism, sexism and other forms of hate speech on the social network.

French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts
Photo: Alastair Pike | AFP

Six anti-discrimination groups had taken Twitter to court in France last year, accusing the US social media giant of “long-term and persistent” failures in blocking hateful comments from the site.

The Paris court ordered Twitter to grant the campaign groups full access to all documents relating to the company’s efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applies to Twitter’s global operation, not just France.

Twitter must hand over “all administrative, contractual, technical or commercial documents” detailing the resources it has assigned to fighting homophobic, racist and sexist discourse on the site, as well as “condoning crimes against humanity”.

The San Francisco-based company was given two months to comply with the ruling, which also said it must reveal how many moderators it employs in France to examine posts flagged as hateful, and data on the posts they process.

The ruling was welcomed by the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF), one of the groups that had taken the social media giant to court.

“Twitter will finally have to take responsibility, stop equivocating and put ethics before profit and international expansion,” the UEJF said in a statement on its website.

Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bans users from promoting violence, or threatening or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender identity or disability, among other forms of discrimination.

Like other social media businesses it allows users to report posts they believe are hateful, and employs moderators to vet the content.

But anti-discrimination groups have long complained that holes in the policy allow hateful comments to stay online in many cases.

French prosecutors on Tuesday said they have opened an investigation into a wave of racist comments posted on Twitter aimed at members of the country’s national football team.

The comments, notably targeting Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, were posted after France was eliminated from the Euro 2020 tournament last week.

France has also been having a wider public debate over how to balance the right to free speech with preventing hate speech, in the wake of the controversial case of a teenager known as Mila.

The 18-year-old sparked a furore last year when her videos, criticising Islam in vulgar terms, went viral on social media.

Thirteen people are on trial accused of subjecting her to such vicious harassment that she was forced to leave school and was placed under police protection.

While President Emmanuel Macron is among those who have defended her right to blaspheme, left-wing critics say her original remarks amounted to hate speech against Muslims.

SHOW COMMENTS