CELTIC LEAGUE - PRESS INFORMATION
FRENCH 'HUMOUR' BORDERS ON RACISM
RTL, a major French TV and radio channel, last month allowed a so-called humorous item which borders on racism. They permitted a French actor to sing a highly derogative song about the Breton people. This 'entertainment' parallels other instances where 'British' entertainers have sought a cheap laugh at the expense of Celtic people.
It has long been the case that the Scots, Welsh and Irish have had to endure stereotyping and racial innuendo, any rebuttal of which tends be dismissed as an overreaction. Fortunately, laws against racial discrimination can be used in the United Kingdom to challenge some of the more blatant examples.
Entertainers such as the 'comic' who made the offensive remarks on RTL should be reminded of the fine line they tread when resorting to such low forms of humour. Racial stereotyping and related abuse justified on the grounds of comic entertainment can be deeply offensive to the people maligned. It can also, if left unchallenged, lead on to more extreme excesses. Indeed the French as a people have examples of this in their recent past and undercurrents of racism still permeate French life.
RTL, if it is a responsible broadcaster, should know better! (We refuse to dignify examples of the so called 'humour' referred to above. Examples, for those interested, can be found reproduced with critical comment on the Breton web site Agence Bretagne Presse.) J B Moffatt Secretary General Celtic League