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French magazine faces backlash after publishing a cartoon portraying a Black lawmaker as a slave

By J. Edward Moreno, THE HILL, 08/29/20

French magazine faces backlash after publishing a cartoon portraying a Black lawmaker as a slave

© Getty Images

A right-wing French magazine is facing backlash after publishing a cartoon depicting a Black lawmaker in chains. 

The magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, showed Daniele Obono, a Black member of the French parliament from the far-left party, in chains with an iron collar on her neck to illustrate a seven-page imaginary story.

Obono called the publication “extreme right, odious, stupid and cruel.”

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said it was a “revolting publication that calls for clear condemnation” and told Obono that she had the government’s backing. French President Emmanual Macron, a centrist, has reportedly extended his support to Obono as well. 

According to AFP, an official from France’s far-right National rally party, Wallerand de Saint-Just, said the story was “in absolute bad taste.”

The magazine’s deputy editor Tugdual Denis said on French TV station BFMTV Saturday that he understood “the symbolic charge” of the image depicting Obono and that he personally apologized for it. 

Valeurs Actuelles initially responded to Obono’s remarks on Twitter by saying: “It’s a fictional story setting the scene of the horrors of slavery organized by the Africans in the 18th century,” according to AFP. 

It maintained that the story was “a work of fiction… but never nasty.”

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