Homophobic prank lands TV presenter in hot water

French TV presenters get away with a lot more than their more politically correct British or US counterparts, but one appears to have gone way too far with an allegedly homophobic prank that sparked a record number of complaints.

Homophobic prank lands TV presenter in hot water
Photo: AFP
More than 20,000 people lodged complaints with the broadcasting authority, advertisers pulled their ads from the comedy chat show, and even the presenter Cyril Hanouna’s own colleagues have turned on him since the off-colour sequence aired last Thursday.
The incident that outraged so many involved Hanouna passing himself off as gay and placing an ad on a gay dating site that read “Jean-José, very sporty and really well hung… I love being insulted!”, and then, live on air, phoning men who responded to his ad.
The resulting conversations, in which Hanouna pretended to be interested in meeting the men, sparked hilarity among the studio audience on the hugely popular show called “Touche pas à mon poste” on the C8 channel.
But almost immediately the complaints and angry reactions came flooding in.
Government and non-government gay rights groups issued statements denouncing what they saw as a tacky anti-gay trick, and the AJL gay journalists’ association said it was planning to sue the presenter.
A group of about 15 LGBT activists turned up at the CSA, the state broadcasting authority which has said it is deciding what action to take, and painted a slogan on the footpath in front of the building that read: “Hanouna is a producer of homophobia, the CSA is complicit.”
“When is the CSA going to do something?” asked Front National deputy leader Florian Philippot, one of the far-Right party’s few openly gay officials.
The 20,000 complaints the CSA received about the show was not far off the total of 36,000 complaints it received for the whole of last year.
Luxury group Chanel, German engineering group Bosch, and Disneyland Paris said they were pulling their ads from slots during the primetime show, which Disneyland said had shown that it was “the opposite of our values.”
Hanouna on Monday admitted he had made a “mistake” with regard to the offending sequence but said that he had become the victim of a “media frenzy.”
This isn't the first time Hanouna has been slammed for homophobia. In December 2016, the French association of LGBT journalists (AJL) claimed that the TV presenter was “obsessed with homosexuality”. 
The presenter and panelists on the popular TV review show Touch pas a mon poste brought up the subject of homosexuality 42 times across 20 shows in November, “often to laugh about it in a disparaging manner”, the group said. 
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Norwegian reality show introduces sexual consent rule for contestants

The latest series of Paradise Hotel in Norway has introduced an on-screen consent requirement for contestants planning on having sexual contact following allegations of abuse on the Swedish version of the show.

Norwegian reality show introduces sexual consent rule for contestants
The show has introduced on-screen consent requirements. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Contestants in the latest series of Paradise Hotel, which aired on Monday night, will require contestants to demonstrate on-screen with a thumbs up to the camera that they consent to any sexual activity.

“We were told from day one that if we were to have sex, we had to consent with a thumbs up to the camera from both parties,” Stian Trulsen, a contestant on the hit reality series, told newspaper VG

Earlier this year, it was alleged that a male contestant abused two female participants on the Swedish edition of the show. Swedish prosecuting authorities are investigating the alleged abuse. 

Christian Meinseth, program manager for production company Nent which makes the show, said the new rules weren’t directly introduced because of what happened on the Swedish programme. 

“No, but we have, of course, worked with the series and looked at our practices around the format, so we ensure that Paradise Hotel is both a good watch and fun to be a participant in,” Meinseth told VG. 

“We are very concerned about the participants’ safety, and we have not had any challenges around the new rules,” Meinseth added. 

The program manager added that the production company wanted the show to reflect a more modern approach to sex. 

“At the same time, we are also careful to monitor language use and how the participants describe each other. Everyone should show respect for each other, and there will be more focus on the game itself. Viewers can look forward to an exciting and entertaining season,” he said. 

The 15th season of the show, which has been on Norwegian tv screens since 2009, will also include a “paradise talents” week where there is a focus on inner values as part of several on-screen and off-screen measures to try and promote more healthy sexual relationships.