Is Cyril Hanouna the most unpleasant person on French television?

French TV presenter Cyril Hanouna's name has been causing a splash with the French and foreign press since Thursday, after a TV prank in which he targeted gay men live on air became just the latest in a series of scandals associated with the host.

Is Cyril Hanouna the most unpleasant person on French television?
Photo: AFP
Presenter of the hugely popular show, Touche pas à mon poste — which airs at primetime Monday to Friday on channel C8, Hanouna's name has become synonymous with behaving badly on air.
Here's a look at some of top scandals involving Hanouna and his hit show:
1. Bullying disabled people
One of the presenter's first big scandals to cause the state broadcasting authority in France (CSA) a headache was during the 2015 Eurovision song contest.
After watching a clip of one of competing entries — a group made up of members suffering from autism and down's syndrome — one of Hanouna's guests responded, “We're going to screw the Down's Syndrome people.”
2. Repeated homophobia
The current scandal is not the first case of homophobia on the show. In December, the French association of LGBT journalists (AJL) claimed that Hanouna was “obsessed with homosexuality”.
The presenter and panelists on the show 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.
3. The “breast-kissing scandal”
In October 2016, Hanouna's name was all over the media when one of his guests kissed a woman's breasts live on the air.
During the live broadcast of a special 35-hour long version of his show, the TV host encouraged one of his guests, journalist Jean-Michel Maire, to kiss a female guest on the cheek.
She refused, turning her head away, so instead Maire plants a kiss on her breasts.
Naturally the programme was condemned by many, including women's rights organisations, but the woman in question defended Maire's actions.

4. Humiliating routines
Many viewers complained about the humiliation and indignity of a skit inspired by the “Wheel of Fortune”.
Entitled “Roux de la Fortune” (playing on the similarity between the French words for “wheel” and “red-head”), the skit involved a young man being spun around and offering gifts to guests.
5. Handsy behaviour
Hanouna was filmed navigating the hands of Capucine Anav over his body in a slot on another TV show.
In the film he was seen putting her hands on different parts of his body while she was blindfolded. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hanouna didn't balk from placing her hands on intimate areas of his body.
Anav expressed her lack of surprise over this in the show.
Homophobic prank lands TV presenter in hot water

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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.